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CONFLICT RESOLUTION DAY - October 19, 2023
Conflict Resolution Day is observed on the third Thursday of October every year, falling on October 19 this year, today. Conflict Resolution Day is a day to accept that conflict sometimes exists and that instead of avoiding it or ignoring it, to find a way to get through it. Conflicts tend to arise in many areas of our lives, such as workplaces, relationships, and families (https://nationaltoday.com/conflict-resolution-day/). At work, its co-workers bad mouthing others, questioning their performance, or creating hostile work environments. In relationships, well, let’s face it, conflict is normal and part of all relationships, it’s just how you handle yourself that makes all the difference. And, in families, well, conflict can be devastating.
Imagine you are 6-years-old and your parents are arguing over who will pick you up from first grade. This is the first time you’re going to a full day of school. You feel scared, nervous, and wish your parents would stop for a minute to help you pick out your first day of school outfit and to teach you how to use a lunchbox. You decide to wear one of your new outfits and you watch the other children during lunch so you figure out how to use your lunchbox and what to eat when. You learned the coping strategy of observing and doing what others do. Now you are in 3rd grade. Your parents still argue over everything. You pick out your first day of school clothes, pack your lunch and get ready for the first day of school. You’re late and your teacher calls you out on being late. You go to lunch and a couple of the kids walk by you and mimic the words of the teacher, “You have to be responsible to get to school on time, haha, you were late, you have to be responsible to be on time.” You tell them to be quiet. They make fun of you, “be quiet, leave me alone.” You get up and you throw your lunchbox and hit one of the kids in the head. The laughter stops. The room seems to go silent. The lunch lady is heading your way and you find yourself being escorted to the principal’s office. You try to explain but the principal doesn’t want to listen. After all, it is only the first day of school. You learned that if you try to stand up for yourself and others don’t back down, that you have to take matters into your own hands, and sometimes that means throwing something.
Children learn what they live! If they live with conflict, they learn conflict. If they live with anger, they learn how to react with anger.
On this Conflict Resolution Day, please join Kids’ Turn San Diego in choosing peace over power. Teach your children that they matter. If you are separated or divorced and in a high conflict situation with your child’s other parent, do something different. On this Conflict Resolution Day, decide that you love your children more than you dislike their other parent. Step back and be willing to “not win” but to instead collaborate in the best interest of your child. Children learn what they live!
Beyond today, Kids’ Turn San Diego is here to help. If you need support to “not win” or to “get unstuck so you can free yourself from a high conflict relationship”, attend a Cooperative Co-Parenting Program. This is a court approved high conflict co-parenting program. Kids’ Turn San Diego is committed to children feeling empowered and to healing families. Remember, children learn what they live. We’re here to support you if you want the support.