RYC Youth Educator Jessica Lodato helped Rye's 3rd graders develop conflict-resolution strategies and learn how to generate creative resolutions for interpersonal conflicts. Read on to be In Sync with what the kids are learning about getting along.
This week we explored what it means to get along with others and why getting along is important. We defined Getting Along as two people having a way of communicating that works for them . . . when both people get what they need from a relationship. Getting along feels good! When we get along with others things run more smoothly and everyone feels comfortable. There is more room to grow, learn new things and more time to enjoy life. But let’s face it, conflicts and disagreements come up, even between the best of friends. Together, the 3rd graders explored strategies that we all can use to get along better.
Identify the Problem
The first thing we need to do when we are not getting along with someone is to identify the problem. Once the problem has been identified, communication needs to be established with the other person involved. We need to talk it out. But it isn’t that simple: we need to remember a few things. One of the most important things to remember is that we have to have the desire to work it out and make it better. If we want to make a situation better we are already 50% of the way there. We need to be sure to listen to each other’s perspective. We need to speak as calmly and respectfully as we can. We need to remember that conveying our feelings is important, but we need to be kind in sharing them. Kids don’t always see the world through the same lens -- it is important to respect our differences.
The kids explored alternatives to making a situation better. Maybe we need to compromise, take turns or decide to do something differently. The children had so much to offer and really seemed to love contributing their ideas and experiences. One of the best parts was their realization that these strategies weren’t only good between kids, but also worked in talking with adults, too!
Look for the Best in Each Other
Before wrapping up our time together for the day we explored one last idea that is really important for the children to think about, and that is looking for the best in each other. Many times when we are feeling badly, or feel that we are being treated unfairly, we need to think about the other person and what might be going on for them. Maybe the person we aren’t getting along with is out of sorts or simply having a bad day. Bad days aren’t an excuse to treat each other poorly, but a little tolerance and unsolicited forgiveness can go a long way for everyone involved. It is also important to look to the best in each other when we are working through a disagreement. If we show up wanting to work the problem out, it helps to assume that the other person involved wants to, too!
Let’s assume the best in each other and work things out to get back to that feel good place of all getting along!