Restore order quickly using this effective 5 step process
My two kids, very grown up, now aged 27 and 24, seem to have had a lot of minor conflicts which I remember clearly. As little kids they argued about who sat in which seat in the car. Who would sit next to which parent in the movies, who licks the spoon when Mum made a cake, Barbies, Bikes and bread, over toys, hair brushes and later clothes and remotes.
Over the years I have handled these disputes in many different ways, some of which I was proud of at the time although were not consistently effective; I let them work it out themselves, separated them, refereeing, escaping to water the garden, problem solving, giving them both empathy and finally of course; punishing.
The Mini Mediation is:
- It’s simple, fast and immediate
- The kids do the work and come up with the ideas
- And it restores harmony!
The perfect parent Trifecta!
The steps to the Mini Mediation go like this:
- Interrupt the dispute asap if you believe its escalating. Create a physical or emotional small space between them if needed perhaps facing each other if possible.
- The children take turns-
You ask Y child ‘What do you want X to know’?
You ask the other child X ‘What do you hear Y saying?
To prevent “parrot-phrasing” you can also ask: “What is the meaning you hear underneath Communicator’s words?”.
And then ask you Y ‘Is that it’? or “Is that what you wanted heard?”
For this part, you have each participant take a turn sharing something they want the other(s) to know – followed by the Listener saying back their understanding of the message. Start with the person you believe is least able to listen (sometimes due to age, sometimes due to how upset they are).
Your tool kit for this part is simply: “What do you want Listener to know?”
- Then ask the other child X exactly the same questions
- Once both have said they feel understood you get them to problem solve
- You say ‘Does anyone have any idea how to solve this problem/issue? Then ask ‘Does that work for everyone’? You want something they can live with not perfection.
It helps if the children trust you or at least know you which I’m imaging will be the case during school holidays with sleep overs, play dates and other get togethers and holiday activities. Although I have done this with one child I knew and another child who I didn’t know whilst at the playground and had a great result as well.
Some problems to look out for
Refusal to Speak or Reflect Meaning
If the first invited Listener says they don’t want to reflect the meaning, no problem. Ask them to speak and the other to reflect. After they feel heard, they are likely to be more able to listen.
If a person says nothing in response to “What do you want X to know?” I still ask the Listener to express their understanding of the underlying message – since non-verbal communication is just as powerful (if not more so) than verbal communication.
For instance, my eldest daughter has learned that when her sister is looking down or away silently, with a scowl on her face, the eldest may reflect something like “She wants me to know she is too angry to talk?” – and then I check “Is that what you wanted heard?”
Wishing you well for the upcoming holiday period.
My business is Keystone Interaction Skills and the acronym KIS also stands for keeping it simple. I love simplicity.
The process I use is simple and gentle yet powerfully life changing.
Call me now on M: 0406 930 699 if you would like to feel calm and confident during the next school holidays.
Glyn is passionate about communicating the truth with care. She realised an unclaimed source of her own energy is when she can free herself from guilt. Once this freedom is reached she found she could think and communicate more simply and clearly with the courage to ask for what she wanted. Glyn now enables others to more easily have their message heard and the listener more readily agrees to their requests.