Guest Author - Celestine A. Jones
Students receiving special education services are often involved in disagreements, misunderstandings, and fights often. The ability to manage behavior can be challenging when social skills are lacking. In these instances, conflict can be avoided with a few simple steps.
Fights are often a result of a verbal conflict. In these instances, it is best to remain silent. Anger can cause words to be spoken that would not ordinarily be said. Arguing with an angry person will only fuel the fire. A little venting from the upset party is often all that is needed. In this case, you may be able to avoid an argument just by remaining silent.
Sometimes this is not enough.Keep comments to a minimum. It may sound difficult, but in this instance, less is more. Let the aggressor do the talking. Try to see their point. There may actually be truth and logic to what is said. Points of view could be expressed in different ways. Any comments made in response should be positive. Try to find something to agree upon.
Try to make sense of what is communicated. Put the words of the aggressor in your own words. Get affirmation by asking. Once the issue has been validated, calmly agree where possible. If you are in fact wrong, try to fix the situation by acknowledging wrongdoing and apologizing. Ask the person what can be done to fix the misunderstanding.
There are times when talking will not work. The aggressor may be irrational due to the anger built up inside. It is safe to say that you will not have this conversation until they calm down. It is also okay to ask this person to leave. Do not be provoked into a physical altercation. If things are appearing to become physical, remove yourself from harmís way by leaving the room.
Conflict occurs all of the time due to differences of opinions. Some children are targets because they are different or lack social skills. Learning to resolve conflict can prevent physical altercations. This life skill will be useful throughout life.