It happened recently. One of our children came home from a social gathering with a story of conflict and word-wounds inflicted. As a parent, the mama-bear in me quickly rises, but when our children face conflict with their peers, it is a unique opportunity for us to help them live out the gospel and to grow, even through the heartache.
So what do we do?
1. Gather the Facts
For our family, this often comes quite easily because three of our children are in a similar stage and as we ask questions, we can usually get a fairly accurate rendition of what took place when the conflict occurred. But questions are the key in this step. We must ask questions that mine the roots of what our own child may have done to incite or invite or aggravate the dissension.
2. Draw Out Empathy
Even if it seems that the other child is clearly in the wrong, we must help our child see the situation from the other child's viewpoint. It may help to ask questions like, "What do you think made her say or do _____?" or "Why do you think he was feeling so angry with you?" As we try to help our child brainstorm what, if anything, they may have done to create or add to the conflict, if hopefully will help them gain compassion for the other child's perspective.
[Read the rest of the article at The Better Mom.]