Conflict Resolution and Behaviour Management
At Pine, we use conflict resolution techniques as a basis for teaching children how to manage conflicts as well as build social skills and self-esteem. We aim to produce happy, confident children who are intrinsically motivated in their behaviour. With this in mind, we work towards children understanding the ‘why’ of conflict situations, as well as ways to manage it positively.
When conflicts arise, children are supported by teachers by identify the problem and think of solutions. They are respected in their ideas and coached to own and manage their feelings. Specific concepts, such as ‘I’ statements, non-violent communication, feelings and needs, negotiation and consent-based solutions are explicitly taught. Principles of democracy, safety, respect, rights and responsibility are embedded in all of this.
Consequences for behaviour is a concept that we emphasise, with the kids having input into decisions made about their behaviour. Natural consequences are also strongly encouraged, so that children learn how their actions affect others and how to make positive choices.
Sometimes people think that democratic schools are schools without rules – not so! We have lots of rules, made up by the children, parents and teachers in consultation together. Rules and guidelines are also subject to change and debate (usually at whole school and class meetings) which helps the children to innovate, revisit, understand, teach other and internalise the values and behaviours that we are trying to achieve (eg kindness, curiousity, respect, compassion).
At Pine, we try to talk, think, support, scaffold and model positive behaviours, as well as unconditionally valuing children’s worth – we believe every child is wonderful! The teachers’ role is to understand the social needs of the child and facilitate their growth in this area to help them become skilled in managing conflicts as well managing their own behaviour.