This page provides information to support educators and families when teaching K-3 students about conflict resolution. It is designed to complement the Conflict Resolution topic on BrainPOP Jr.   

Ask students to discuss a time they disagreed or had an argument with someone, such as with a friend, teammate, or sibling. Ask what the disagreement was about and how it made them feel. Then ask how they resolved, or fixed it. Explain that arguments,or conflicts, happen — we all have them sometimes — and that’s okay, but it is important to know how to solve conflicts and work together to prevent them from happening again.

Review with students the three steps for solving a conflict:  

  1. Calm down
  2. Share your feelings
  3. Choose a solution.

Recognize that calming down can be tough, but explain that taking deep breaths and counting to 10 slowly can help people relax and think before they act. Exercise is also a good way to calm down, as is writing down feelings.

After calming down, it’s important to share feelings. Prompts such as the following can help with this:   “I feel ______ when you _________ because _____. So what I would like is _______.” Teach children that discussion means they not only talk, but listen to what the other person has to say.

Discussion often leads to finding a solution. Sometimes the solution is compromising on something. Have students share examples of times they made a compromise. What was the compromise and did it resolve the conflict?

Acknowledge that sometimes it is hard to resolve a conflict, especially if one or both people won’t compromise or are too angry to compromise. Remind students that it’s normal to feel angry, but anger passes sooner if it’s discussed. BrainPOP Jr.’s Anger topic has great ideas on managing anger.

Discuss with children that if they aren’t able to resolve a conflict on the first attempt, they should try the three steps again. If the second attempt doesn’t work, then they should ask a mediator for help. Remind students that a mediator is someone who helps solve conflicts. A parent, teacher, or a friend not involved with the conflict could help mediate the problem. However, discuss with children why it’s best if they can resolve their own conflicts. Inform them that developing the skill of conflict resolution means they’re learning to rely on themselves. By arming children with confidence in conflict resolution skills, you are helping them develop healthy relationships and supporting their well-being.