I am a huge fan of restorative practice when it comes to managing conflict in children. Restorative practice is a way of being; valuing relationships, empathy and focuses on repairing harm after a conflict.
One major shift that I noticed when we began to live by this philosophy in school was swapping “why” with “what happened”. When approaching any conflict with children as a teacher and a parent, this swap was a game changer.
When we jump in with “why did you do that?” We immediately put the child on the defensive, they feel accused, that you are against them from the outset and it leads to more anger and frustration.
Asking “what happened” puts you into a neutral position. The child has space to share the details, the context. The heat begins to go immediately.
It also gives you the teacher/parent space to not react but respond to the situation, leading to a better outcome.
Give it a go today!!
Please let me know if you noticed a difference!