Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Waging Peace at Home

Summer is taking its toll on sibling relations in my house. Squabbles break out over the smallest things -- the purple crayon, the last apple, whether or not my 3 year old is really a kangaroo. Sometimes I interpret this arguing as character flaws in my children and sometimes I see them simply being true to their egocentric selves -- not yet fully able to see the utility in practicing peace or in making compromises. Sometimes I see that they are truly arguing over my attention or power/control over their lives. Whatever the reasons, conflict between siblings - and between fabulous adults, too -- is part of life. Much of my reading encourages me to think about conflict as a rich source of learning and growth when handled well. Conflicts do not have to lead to disconnection, winning and losing, or to hurt feelings if people are skilled in dealing with them.

The second section of Waging Peace includes a chapter for families and information about the Resolving Conflict Creatively Curriculum.

RCC emphasizes the development of sophisticated communication skills as the center of non-violent conflict resolution. They also focus on teaching students how to name, express and cope with feelings They encourage a “win-win” negotiation process and the use of mediation. They also have a significant emphasis on anti-bias / addressing diversity and the challenges of “isms.”

Tom Roderick’s pointers on resolving conflicts nonviolently (86-88) :

  • Slow down the action
  • Listen well
  • Give the other person the benefit of the doubt
  • Acknowledge the other person’s feelings
  • Be strong without being mean
  • Try to see a conflict as a problem to be solved rather than a contest to be won
  • Set your sights on a win-win solution
  • If you don’t seem to be getting anywhere in solving a conflict, ask for help
  • Remember that conflict, handed well, can lead to personal growth and better relationships
  • The true heroes of today’s world are not the Rambos.

No comments: