Conflict Resolution | Bay Area Martial Arts
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I signed my kindergartener daughter in the six-week promotion to see if she would enjoy martial arts. I knew after her first class that this was going to be truly enriching for her, and she loves going to her classes.
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My 13 year old son started at the dojo when he was 5 and my 9 year old daughter started when she was 3. Bringing them here has turned out to be one of the best decisions that my husband and I made for our children. The amount of focus and discipline that they have learned through martial arts has encompassed all parts of their lives. Both are excellent students and know how to stick up for themselves. My daughter will not think twice about being an ally for someone else. I am blown away by their self confidence. They have learned that you can succeed at anything you put your mind to with hard work and perseverance.

While learning the skills of working hard and self esteem, students get a great work out and have fun with Sifu Adrian and Sensei Ceci. They create a nurturing environment where children learn skills at their appropriate developmental stage. They have become family and I am forever grateful for all that they have done for my children.

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My 7 year old son started at Bay Area Martial Arts in January of this year. After nearly 6 months I have seen such a change in him both physically and emotionally. My son was always scared of trying new things - like riding a scooter or doing a handstand - because his balance has never been that great. Martial arts has really helped him build confidence and the physical strength to try new things. Respect for yourself, your family, and people in the wider world is something that he is learning and doing. Sensei Adrian, Nate, and Ceci have been so wonderful not just to our son, but to our whole family. They really care about these kids - not just to make them ninjas (because lets face it... what kid doesn't want to be a ninja?!?!), but about helping them be the best version of themselves that they can be. Thanks so much you guys!!!!

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Conflict Resolution

Let’s face it, conflict is hard and is bound to happen no matter what ground rules are put into place. Whether it’s on the playground or right in our own homes, children will clash. And while it can create challenging situations, it is a normal event that occurs between children. This is why conflict resolution is an essential life skill for them to learn. In order to help them, though, early instruction is key in making this a standard routine during disagreements with others.

Often when children are involved in a conflict, one of two things happen. Either the parent rushes in to save their child or the child goes to an adult immediately. And yes, when there is physical violence taking place, adults must intervene at once. But when children are arguing over a toy or whose turn it is, they should be given the opportunity to resolve the conflict on their own. Learning this skill is important in the development of friendships. Adults allowing time for this to take place is essential.

It is hard, though, for adults, especially parents to observe their child in the middle of a conflict. The first thought it to jump in to alleviate any discomfort. However, doing this does not help children find their own solutions, a skill which is essential in learning conflict management. The best thing to do is observe from a distance and allow the process to happen and intervene if things get physical. Younger children will need more assistance when working through issues with others and, depending on their age, the degree to which adults assist them.

With children ages 3-4, they are still working on language development and are still egocentric so their conflicts usually result in something physical. Adults need to support them by helping them find the words they need to express how they feel about the situation. Children ages 5-6 are better able to grasp concepts about communication but they are very concrete in their thinking so these skills must be taught in the midst of disagreements. As children get older, they have the basic tools in place to handle more of the conflict on their own and involve adults only if they absolutely can’t work it out.

The best way to start this learning process is by teaching calming techniques and showing empathy to each child. It’s important that they have a safe space to express their feelings about the situation. However, it’s even more important for them to not cast blame and, instead, admit to their part in the conflict since “who started it” doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Help them use “I” statements in an

effort to show respect for each other. Then, adults should empower children to brainstorm solutions that result in a compromise.

The Life SKILLZ curriculum, supplemental information in the SKILLZ program, encompasses lessons on things such as patience, respect, fairness, sharing, and cooperation that are all important in conflict resolution. SKILLZ instructors utilize these lessons in class and present the information in a way that is easily understandable by the age group it is targeted for. These skills establish a foundation for the higher-level skill of conflict management.

When children are given the tools to work through conflict at an early age, they develop a greater confidence to brainstorm solutions on their own. Early guidance by trusted adults will help set the stage for success in this area. When children can work through things on their own, they feel assured in their own judgments and therefore, help them develop strong friendships in the long run.

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