Secondary: Conflict Management
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managing conflict on and off line
February 2022

Conflict is part of life. We can‘t hide from conflict or pretend it‘s not happening. It is unavoidable, but it does not have to be negative. Conflict can be used to create positive change and strengthen relationships  if it‘s managed properly.

Good conflict resolution skills are some of the most beneficial skills you can teach a teenager. They can help your teen establish healthy relationships, prevent youth violence and set them up for rewarding employment.

The following are some ways to to help your teen manage conflict on and off line! 
six ways to manage conflict
 Recognize and manage your emotions. Many people try to ignore strong emotions such as anger, sadness, and fear. But if you don‘t know how you feel or why you feel that way, you won‘t be able to understand your own needs or communicate effectively. Anger management is particularly important to being able to resolve conflicts in a healthy way.
Be fair. The way you approach a conflict has a significant impact on whether it will be resolved in a positive or negative way.

Be respectful. Treat the other person the way you want to be treated.
Be specific about what is bothering you or what you need.
Do not attack the other person. No name calling, yelling, hitting, accusing, or threatening.
Use “I” statements such as, “I feel hurt when…” instead of “you are so mean when you…”
Avoid exaggerating. Stick with the facts and your honest feelings. 
Don‘t generalize. Avoid words like “never” or “always.”
Stay in the present. Don‘t bring up other problems you have had in the past.
Avoid clamming up. Positive results can only be attained with two­-way communication.
Use active listening. Listen to the other person and try to see the problem from their perspective. Resist the temptation to interrupt with your own point of view until the other person has said everything they want to say and feel you understand them. Active listening does not come naturally to us, but it is very helpful in resolving conflict.
Be aware of nonverbal communication skills. This includes eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice, posture, and gestures. Paying attention to the other person‘s nonverbal signals may help you figure out what they are really saying. Using nonverbal signals such as a calm voice can potentially defuse a heated exchange.

Pick your battles. Conflicts can be draining, so it‘s important to consider whether the issue is really worthy of your time and energy. If you can let the small things go, the people in your life will pay more attention when you are upset about the big things.
Prioritize the relationship over winning. Many people enter a conflict with a goal to win. Resolving conflict in a healthy way involves trying to understand the other person‘s point of view so that you can work together to develop an acceptable solution. It‘s about shifting your mindset from “me against you” to “you and I against the problem.”
 managing life online
Parents can help guide teens‘ online social experiences in a number of ways:

Talk with your teen about taking a “meta-moment” which is pause between being triggered and responding—to prevent blunders. Teens will make  mistakes, but these days a thoughtless remark can be visible to hundreds of others and leave a permanent record. 

Remind teens about the “performative” aspect of social media, which can explain why people often appear happier on Instagram than they really are.

Help your teen contextualize serious online issues such as sexting, cyberbullying, and illegal downloading. Emphasize that despite perceptions that large numbers of youth are doing these things, in reality the numbers are much smaller than we think.
Make sure your teen understands that it is never okay to pressure someone to send or share a nude or sexy photo, or to share a photo like that with anyone else.

Discuss gambling and its potential risks and remind your teen that it is illegal for minors to gamble online.

Make sure your teens know about the many safe, legitimate sources of music, video and other media online.
Help teens to become more aware of whether or not hanging out on social media makes them feel connected and happy, or sad and excluded. 

Today‘s teens must also learn to focus and manage their attention. Paying a little bit of attention to a lot of stimuli mimics an
ongoing state of crisis. In large doses this behavior can make them feel overwhelmed and powerless.
Young people and adults say family members spend too much time online at the expense of in-person connections. 
Although teens are trying to become autonomous, they also want to maintain connection and talk with their parents about things that really matter.

Set limits on your teen's technology use, and practice what you preach. By checking your cell phone frequently, you may be role-modeling the very behavior you want teens to avoid

Let your teen know that you are there for them if things go wrong and that you will work with them to find a solution. If something does happen, don‘t over-react.

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Internet Safety Tips for Teens
Just like you want your teen to stay safe in school and at the mall, you need to be sure they‘re being smart about how they handle themselves online.
over use of technology
If you are concerned about your teen's use of technology:

Be curious. What is so interesting about what they are doing on their screens? Ask them to show you so you have a better understanding of who they are connecting with. If they refuse, and there‘s not an issue of safety, respect their privacy and try again at another time.

Have an honest conversation. Give everyone a chance to share their concerns with the way tech use at home isn‘t what everyone agreed to. Come up with ideas together on how to handle this.

Recognize and praise your child‘s healthy tech habits e.g. “I noticed you were on your phone and something on it was frustrating you so you chose to turn it off . That‘s a great thing to do in moments like that.”
Check in often, in short conversations. For example, you could ask, "I noticed your mood seems low and you were playing video games for a long time today. How are you doing?" You will not deal with all issues in one conversation and see immediate results, this is a conversation you will probably have more than once.
February School Posters
We encourage students and staff to take a stand against bullying and be an advocate for kindness and inclusivity by wearing a Pink Shirt on February 23rd!

We recognize that this is a one day awareness campaign and we strive to nurture each student‘s well-being in a safe, responsive, and inclusive learning community throughout the school year. 
The theme for 2022 is Pink Shirt Day Throwback... because kindness is always in style!

Students and staff are encouraged to dig out Pink shirts from days gone by (2007-2021). The school that has the most variety of shirts will receive books on inclusivity for their library. 
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