How To Teach Conflict Resolution to Teens

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Teens can be moody and argumentative, and disagree with their parents and friends regularly. However, according to Safe Youth, 41 percent said that if they were challenged to a physical fight, they would engage in one. We have to teach teenagers to control their anger and stress, and how to resolve issues with their peers.

  • Bulletin-board paper Markers

1 Inform the teenagers

Inform the teenagers that there will be no name-calling or insults, and teach them more beneficial ways of interacting with each other. Show them how to disagree peacefully, and the trick of counting to 10 and thinking before you speak.

2 Help them

Help them define what violence means by applying different scenarios and asking questions. For example, ask different students how they would react if a bigger child pushed a smaller child out of their way, or if, in the middle of a couple disagreeing, they saw the man hit the woman.

3 Use T.A.C.T

Use T.A.C.T. (Teens and Conflict Together) a program that teaches teens self-awareness and problem-solving skills by including a literary element, which teaches teens how to compare stories and analyze conflict resolution to their own lives. Teach the modules by applying popular literature such as Spiderman or Harry Potter, to show how the story villain’s perspective can impact how teens perceive conflict and resolution. When you assign them to rewrite their own stories based on their favorite villains, it forces them about the villain’s perspective. How he may not look all handsome like a prince or have superpowers like a superhero, so maybe in order to survive he did bad deeds. Teens feel safer and connected after realizing these things.

4 Similar to the last step

Similar to the last step, teach the teens how to role play by acting out scenes you created. Advise one to let the fight escalate to almost a physical fight, and other one’s mission is to talk him down from his anger and try and resolve the problem peacefully

5 Demonstrate to define the current problem

Demonstrate how to define the current problem and how to brainstorm ideas for solving it. Using a large piece of bulletin board paper and markers, have the teens offer suggestions, trying to think creatively of ideas that will make both parties happy.

6 Evaluate the list with the teens

Evaluate the list with the teens, allowing each teenager to speak about why this issue is about to him, and why he thinks a particular solution will work best. Teach them fair debating and negotiating techniques and allow them to negotiate until a fair compromise has been reached, and both parties are satisfied with the results.

Laura Nowak is a freelance writer who combines her love of travel and research to write travel articles. She has been published in various print and online publications, including the "Western Herald," where she wrote arts and entertainment articles. Nowak earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in practical writing from Western Michigan University.