Keeping conflict out of parenting
Conflict is a normal part of life and a natural part of relationships, particularly when there are differing personalities. Add to the mix, the challenge of raising children who often test the boundaries, or engage in conflict with each other, and it’s easy to understand why parents often feel stressed. Here are some tips to help you keep conflict out of parenting.
Control the urge to
Anger is a normal emotion, and parents can sometimes feel
angry. But remember you are the adult in the dynamic, so try to avoid yelling.
Yelling can escalate conflict and result in you saying things you may later
Set boundaries for
Set very clear rules or boundaries about what is and isn’t
acceptable behaviour in your household, along with consequences for crossing
those boundaries. Children should have a good understanding of where they
stand. Remember, following through on consequences is just as important as
Separate the deed
from the doer
When you’re feeling frustrated or angry about your child’s
behaviour it can be easy to berate them. However, positive parenting involves
separating the deed from the doer; that is, focusing on the behaviour
of your child. For example,
say, ‘I am disappointed in your behaviour,’ instead of ‘I am disappointed in
Stick to the current issue
Address the current issue only. Don’t bring up and discuss
past mistakes, to add weight to your case. You should also avoid predicting
what your child will do, or be like, in the future.
Children switch off when they feel they are being lectured.
Instead, give them a short message indicating your feelings. If they are old
enough, engage them in conversation about what has occurred, rather than having
a one-sided ‘telling off’.
Recognise when you
have made mistakes
No parent is perfect and we all make mistakes. Recognising
when you are in the wrong and apologising for it is important. It shows your
children that everyone makes mistakes. It also provides you with an opportunity
to show your children how to apologise when they are in the wrong.
Avoid taking frustrations out on your kids
All of us experience frustration, anger or anxiety about
other things, such as our jobs or relationships. While it’s easy for these
feelings to spill over into the rest of our lives, try to avoid taking these
feelings out on your children.
Avoid arguing with
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Yes, you and your partner will have disagreements. You may
even have disagreements or arguments about your children. However, avoid
engaging in these types of discussions, disagreements or arguments in front of
None of us were born ‘perfect parents’. We all make mistakes, particularly when it comes to raising children. However, if you can deal with difficult situations calmly, you can keep the anger and conflict out of parenting.