How Play Is The Key To Solving Conflict With Kids

by Queenie on October 21, 2010

Image of QueenieDay in and day out it was the same story. I just couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Sierra, couldn’t stand Nahzina. The dislike was so strong, Sierra would complain about Nahzina breathing. If Nahzina looked at Sierra, Sierra would say, “Ms. Queenie, she’s looking at me! Tell her to stop.”

I’d watch this go on for three weeks using strategies left and right to try and help this situation, to no avail. It persisted.

One day, in the middle of one of Sierra’s grumblings abut Nahzina, I realized that there was more to this story.

I looked Sierra in the face and asked, “Why don’t you like Nahzina?”

With tears in her eyes, she answered, “Because she is mean to me.”

Nahzina, interjected firmly, shouting, “No I’m not!”

“Sierra, give us more information.” I said. “I want to help you get through this, because it seems like you really want to tell Nahzina something.”

After about 2 minutes of probing, Sierra yelled out, “She takes my friends away from me when we are playing!”

A big feeling of relief came over me. Sierra needed empathy!

“Oh, you just want her to play with you and be a part of your game,” I said.  

With tears rolling down her eyes, she nodded her head implying yes. Nahzina, had no idea that Sierra wanted to play with her and be her friend.

A three  minute conflict resolution revealed that Sierra simply wanted to play with Nahzina.

When your child is in conflict with another child, it probably has something to do with their inability to play together and compromise with one another. Tuck this tip in your back pocket it will do wonders to resolve any issue when two kids are not getting along.

For more tips on play check out our new book All About Inventive Play.