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Conflict in Conversation Kid Style...And the Oscar goes to You!

From the desk of...
From the desk of...
photo courtesy of sheilasultani

Whether you’re disagreeing with a 5-year old or 15-year old, there are a few simple rules of verbal engagement that can keep discipline where it belongs: as only a part of your time together.

A very cherished Principal, Cathi Mundsinger, now Director of Elementary Teaching in innovative Oswego School District 308, framed the notion that parents are the world’s greatest ACTORS!  From special people come special ideas. Don’t be afraid to utilize the many intuitive, experienced educators who are at the ready for you!  Find Illinois Districts and Schools easily here.

To pass this audition: SHOW ME YOUR MAD FACE:  Create a FAKE MAD version of yourself.  Mimic a parent, sibling, teacher or even an actor –who made you sit up and listen!  This is the role of a life-time and you want to be cast.  Experiment with voice, facial expressions, hand gestures, body language.

Why?  Because you are going to be FAKE MAD to eliminate becoming REALLY MAD!  Fake outraged, Fake aghast, Fake unbothered, Fake everything when you get even the slightest inkling your chain is being yanked to build little muscles.  Early and often.

You become FAKE MAD and defuse a situation before you become genuinely angry.  By then it’s just too late to get the best results, additionally risking a regrettable moment.  It is also is a major tenet to the ‘keep it real short’ technique, among our next nominated performances.

Some of my favorites heard at school, from others and on the fly:

  • “Well, I can’t feel too sorry for somebody who did the same thing yesterday and got hurt too.”
  • “What on earth are you doing?”
  • “I do not go for that.”

Deliver your lines with a voice that is taken aback, but not condemning.

Have fun with it!  You’ll know you have it down when you have to stop yourself from smiling.  You want them scampering to right themselves long before you become volcanic. Some kids just do anyway!  Lucky you, if they do.  Either way,  -Burn after reading-.

Show your kids that you’ve joined the resolution and they’ll join too… continue to and check back in with comments…with kids, the show must go on!


  • Amy 5 years ago

    Good advice! I realize that I do this all the time - feigning being surprised or aghast at 4-yr-old behavior, while biting back amused laughter. Helpful to assume the role of much more mature and wiser adult, or a Sunday school teacher persona. Good to know that some parenting instincts are useful and effective. Thanks for the insight, Mary.

  • Tom 5 years ago

    The best is when you have to be mad on the outside, but you are cracking up on the inside. Kids can just be so entertaining when they are in trouble.

  • Mary 5 years ago

    Solid parenting stragegies! They are to be applauded and validated! And Parents DO know best about what works! Times when execution become tough - don't hesitate to start all over again! You might actually see you kids sigh with relief that your "back" on the case. They want you there!
    Well Done All! Oscars!

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