A new school year is an exciting time for students and parents. Students have the opportunity to gain more independence and another “shot” at creating diverse social circles. Often this can come with a few hiccups that can be used as an opportunity to teach students problem solving skills and how to turn conflict into opportunities.

LaTonya Dixon, an educator with Le Bonheur Community Health and Well-being, shares some tips for teaching kids how to resolve conflict.

Unhealthy Response to Conflict Healthy Response to Conflict
Inability to recognize and respond to things that matter to others Able to recognize and respond to the things that matter to the other person
Angry, hurtful or resentful actions and language  Calm, non-defensive and respectful language
Inability to compromise or see others point of view Ability to seek compromise and not punishing others


It is sometimes easier for students to say they will be able to handle conflict until it arises. Parents can help by always reminding students:

  • It is natural to have conflict and that this is a part of growing and learning
  • Always remain calm, even if their feelings are hurt or they are being misheard.
  • There is power in words. Although another person may use their words negatively, it is their job to be understanding and genuine.
  • It is OK to admit if you are wrong. Even if the other person does not hear them at that moment, they will eventually reflect on their kindness in the long run.