Category Archives: Conflict Resolution

How to Say Sorry

This article is also posted in the student’s Guidance website: Ask Teacher Joseph

When you realize that you’ve hurt someone, the first thing that crosses our mind is to apologize to that person.  But experience would show us that it isn’t easy to do.  Even when we are really really sorry for what we’ve done, finding the right words to say to that person may not be that easy.  Here is a guide on how we should apologize:

1. Acknowledge Your Mistake

The first step is to know what your mistake is.  You cannot be fully sorry if you don’t know what you should be sorry for.  Once you realize this, the other person should also see that you know by saying what you are sorry for.  For this step, it would help to say…

“I’m sorry because _____________________________”


2. Realize the Effect of Your Action

Making mistakes is OK when we learn from it.  If we think really hard, we would realize how our mistake hurts other people or ourselves.  It would also help the person whom we have offended to forgive us more easily when he sees that we’ve learned from our mistake.  For this step, it would help to say…

“I’ve realized that _____________________________”


2. Repair the Damage Done

After realizing the effect of our actions, the next step is to take positive actions that would undo the harm done by our mistake.  Apart from apologizing, there are things we can do to restore broken friendships and renewing the trust and confidence of other people.  It would also be important to commit to this action.  For this step, it would help to say…

“I promise that _____________________________”


To end, your apology should sound something like this:

“I’m sorry because _____________________________.  I realized that  _____________________________.  I promise that _____________________________.”


At first, saying sorry can be hard, but it becomes easier with practice.  Eventually you can get to the point that it would be easy to see when you’ve hurt someone, and you can say sorry quickly and sincerely.  😉

picture credit: ~hebi-mamecafe

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Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Bullying, Conflict Resolution


Music: 10 Songs About Peace and Conflict Resolution

Here are 10 songs about peace and conflict resolution that I found in my playlist.  I also posted this in the Guidance website for the students “

Enjoy!  =)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in Conflict Resolution


Sibling Rivalry: Ways to Avoid the Fights

written by: Angie Shiflett, Yahoo! Contributor Network

Sibling Rivalry is very common in families that have more than one child. It can range from very severe cases to the occasional case. It is never easy for parents when this occurs. When I brought home my second child from the hospital and my oldest son saw the baby for the first time, I will never forget how he ran and cried. He certainly did not care for the idea of a younger brother, and he was only sixteen months old! I did not know much about sibling rivalry at that point, but nearly five years later, I can assure you that I am quickly learning.

My sister and I were ten and a half years apart, and I am the oldest. We really did not experience a lot of sibling rivalry. In fact, the most I ever remember us fighting about growing up was space restrictions and requirements. As I got older, I wanted my space, and, of course, her being the youngest and looking up to me, she always wanted to follow me around. However, with my kids, and the fact that they are very close in age, I see a little bit of this every single day. I have learned, over time, various ways to deal with this issue, and in this article, I will share with you what I have learned. Keep in mind; however, as they grow older, you must learn to tweak the system a little bit. As your children grow and change, the sibling rivalry will grow and change with them.

I have found that most of the issues that my kids have had has to do with toys and taking turns. My husband and I have adjusted to the fact that when we purchase items for our children, we must purchase similar items as to not cause a conflict. Many things that we purchase are identical. If the items come in the colors that our children consider their favorite, blue and green, we will purchase one of each color. We have found that by purchasing items in this manner, the fighting is reduced and things are much more peaceful.


Another way to ensure that the amount of fighting between siblings is  reduced is by keeping your home as peaceful and calm as possible. I have seen households that always seem to be in an uproar, and the rivalry between siblings in those families is unbelievable! Be sure that there is not a lot of yelling, fighting, and stress. This will be helpful in dealing with sibling rivalry.

When the kids deserve to be punished for something that they have done, it is important to offer them choices. While not all parents may agree with this, my husband and I feel that this works well. When the children have a say in their discipline, it helps them to understand that they are taking responsibility for their actions and they are more capable of understanding why they are being punished. An example would be that they are fighting over a toy and it gets a little out of hand. We would sit down so that we are speaking to them at their level, explain why they are being punished, and allow them to take a few minutes in the corner, or lay down on the bed for a few minutes. Once the punishment is over, it is important to bring them back and have them convey what they understand about what just occurred so that you know that they have learned from the incident. Then tell them how proud you are of them for learning, give them a big hug and kiss and tell them you love them.

When punishing children with siblings, it can be difficult. It is especially difficult if only one of them is being punished. When using the time out method, be sure to understand the proper amount of time out is one minute per year. If they are six years old, then they should be placed in time out for six minutes, etc….

It is important to be as objective as possible when dealing with sibling rivalry and not take sides. Taking sides could actually make the situation much worse. Take time to hear both sides of the story and do not jump to conclusions, or be quick to anger. When you find that your children are playing well together, praise them for doing so well. Explain to them that the behavior they are performing is what you want to see more of. If you must, give them a sticker or a small token of appreciation for their cooperation. Keep in mind that it is always very important to point out the positive, especially when they understand pointing out the negative. Feeling good about themselves can reduce sibling rivalry almost completely.


This is lifted from The Yahoo! Contributor Network.

The Yahoo! Contributor Network allows writers, photographers, and videographers to share their knowledge and passion with hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Find your audience and earn money by publishing your unique perspectives on Associated Content and other Yahoo! sites.

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Posted by on January 23, 2011 in Conflict Resolution


Mediation: Helping people sort things out


What is mediation?

Have you and your friend ever had a big argument? Were you both so upset that you just couldn’t sort things out?

  • Maybe you stopped being friends for a while?
  • Maybe you are still not friends?

Sometimes it can be really hard to sort things out. That’s where mediation (say mee-dee-ay-shun) can be helpful.

Mediation is when you ask a third person to help you.

  • The mediator (say mee-dee-ay-tor) can be a parent, teacher, counsellor or some other trusted adult.
  • They may even be one of your classmates or an older student in the school.

What skills do you need?

A mediator needs to be someone who will not take sides with one or the other of you.

* They must be able to stay calm and be assertive.
* They must be a really good active listener.
* They must be really fair and make sure that everyone gets an equal chance to tell their side of the argument.
* They must be able to think clearly and see what the problem is.
* They must be able to get the people concerned thinking about ways to solve the problem.
* They must help the people to look for a win/win result.

peer mediation

Many schools nowadays have a Peer Mediator program that is run by the older students in the school. If you are interested in helping others to sort out their problems, then ask if you can do the training.

How to mediate

Even if you haven’t done the training, here are the steps you can use to help others.

A. Say that you are willing to act as mediator.

  1. Ask if they want you to mediate.
  2. Find somewhere to go that is quiet and away from everyone else.
  3. Ask them to agree that:
    • they want to solve the problem
    • there will be no name calling
    • they won’t interrupt when the other person is talking
    • what is said is in confidence.

B. Listen actively. That means looking at the speaker, making
listening noises and making sure that you have got it right by:

* Asking the first person, “What happened?” then paraphrase, (say para-frayze) – that means repeating back what they said in your own words.
* If the first person agrees that you have understood, then ask that person how they feel about it. Repeat the feeling, eg. “So, you felt angry, or sad, or upset…?”
* Ask the second person, “What happened?” Paraphrase their answer to make sure that you’ve got it right.
* Ask how that person felt. Repeat the feeling.

C. Look for ways to solve the problem.

* Ask person 1 “What could you have done differently?” Paraphrase.
* Ask person 2, “What could you have done differently?” Paraphrase.
* Ask person 1, “What could you do right now to help solve the problem.” Paraphrase.
* Ask person 2, “What could you do right now to help solve the problem?” Paraphrase.
* Encourage first one, then the other, to come up with ideas.Remember, only one person can talk at a time.

D. Find a solution.

Help the two people to find a solution they both feel good about.

* You may ask how they feel about different ideas they came up with.
* You may ask which bits of a solution they each like and which bits they don’t.
* You may suggest that each be willing to give in a bit so that they can find a solution they can both accept.
* Repeat the solution and ask each one in turn if they agree to all of it.
* Congratulate both people on working through their problems. Maybe you could all shake hands too.

REMEMBER: as a mediator you do not talk about what happened in the mediation process with anyone. People have told you stuff in confidence, and it is not OK for you to talk about these private matters.

When to get help

You need to get help from a trusted adult if:

* the people won’t stick to the rules of mediation ask a trusted adult if you need help
* you feel unsafe
* others try to join in
* you could first try asking them to go away, or leave yourself with the people who have the problem, and find another place
* you feel uncomfortable with the problem being discussed
* you feel that it is an unsafe secret and could lead to someone being harmed in some way, eg. bullying or drugs.


What kids say about being a mediator

  • “I have been a mediator for 2 years. At first there were a lot of problems to help sort out. Some kids don’t understand. They think I will help them to get their own way. I’m there to try and help both people.”
  • “It can be really hard to help some people. Sometimes I just go and see the teacher on duty about it.”
  • “It can be really interesting. I have learned how to be a good listener and how to explain things well.”
  • “Sometimes it’s hard to get other kids to go away. Usually I just go away myself with the people who want to sort things out.”
  • “Some kids just won’t listen to each other or they listen and still think they should get their own way. It takes a while to learn how to negotiate a good solution.”

Dr Kim says

Dr KimEveryone has the right to be treated with respect.

Sometimes we can feel so upset that we cannot see clearly how to resolve a problem. Having someone mediate can calm things down, define the problem and help us think how to solve it while treating each other with respect.

Trying to get a solution where both sides win often means that both sides have to be prepared to lose something. Having the chance to talk quietly about their problems and be listened to, helps everyone feel better and more satisfied with the outcome.

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We’ve collected this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


This article has been lifted from the CYH website.

The Child and Youth Health web site is part of the Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service in South Australia. Our government minister is the Minister for Health, the Hon. John Hill, MP.

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Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Conflict Resolution


How to Resolve Conflicts Without Fighting

You hear teachers always remind you that you should report incidents as soon as possible so that they could help you resolve the conflict.  But sometimes it isn’t easy to find a teacher to help us right there and then with our conflict and misunderstandings.  Even the ever-reliable student supervisors’ hands may be full during recess and lunch when we  play in the soccer field or the Sports Center.

When an adult’s help is not readily accessible, here are some simple things you can do to resolve conflicts with your classmates:

  1. STOP.  Don’t let the conflict get worse.  The less angry you are, the easier it is to solve the problem.
  2. SAY what the conflict is all about.  What is causing the disagreement?  What does each other want or not want?
  3. THINK of positive options.
  4. CHOOSE a positive option that you can agree on.


**If you still can’t agree, ask someone else (an outsider) to help resolve the conflict.    ^_^


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Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Conflict Resolution


Guidance Topic of the Week: CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Our topic for Guidance period this week is CONFLICT RESOLUTION.  I will be posting articles and videos regarding this topic. Feel free to write comments, ask questions, and even share links to other articles relevant to this topic.  Thanks!  =)

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Posted by on January 13, 2011 in Conflict Resolution