Think back to your childhood and the friendships you had with your next door neighbor, your desk mate in first grade, or your cousin you visited a state away every holiday. Each of these friendships included moments where you disagreed, fought, or one of you said something hurtful. Conflict is going to happen - childhood is messy. Now, as parents, we can promote friendships by recognizing these moments of conflict as opportunities to grow and develop empathy, patience, and forgiveness.
Developmentally, young children react to situations as a "reflex," spontaneous without thought. The frontal lobe of the brain, the ability to think rationally before reacting, is not fully developed. In moments of conflict, we need to slow down and allow our children to understand the process of conflict and resolution. Oftentimes, we, as parents, are quick to go on the defense. It is important that our children understand that differences don't define friendships. We need to trust the process of conflict and resolution and allow our children to experience the process.
If you have a moment, reconnect with an old friend and share your childhood memories.
See you at the Center,