Teach Your Children How to Resolve Conflicts With This Book

Even little ones should know how to resolve conflicts

By PON Staffon / Conflict Resolution

how to resolve conflicts

We’ve all been there. One kid wants it his way; the other wants it her way and an inevitable conflict ensues. Shouting, crying, and harsh words are often part of the mix—creating stress for everyone, including the parents who just want to know how to resolve conflicts.

While the Program on Negotiation (PON) offers numerous programs and resources for adults, there hasn’t been anything specifically targeted toward the younger generation…until now. Introducing Trouble at the Watering Hole: The Adventures of Emo and Chickie, a breakthrough book that focuses on the skills of conflict resolution; the “how” of working things out. This fun and educational book provides a foundation for kids to learn how to resolve conflicts constructively and build skills they can use to manage conflicts for the rest of their lives.

Co-authored by Gregg Relyea and Josh Weiss, Senior Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Project and co-founder of the Global Negotiation Initiative at PON, this illustrated children’s book explores the conflict between Emo, a baby bear cub, and his best friend, a colorful bird named Chickie.

The forest animals have a problem—the watering hole isn’t big enough. They have all the usual reasons for getting more water—who is biggest, who is strongest, and who is most clever. But the animals are getting nowhere. Worse yet, they are fighting with each other, which won’t solve anything.

In this book, Emo and Chickie explore ways to work things out, positively and constructively. Together, they learn skills that can be used to resolve everyday problems without resorting to fighting; skills that everyone (even adults) can learn.

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What is your take on how to resolve conflicts with children? Leave us a comment.

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Though just released, the book is receiving great reviews:

Praise for Trouble at the Watering Hole

“The only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences in today’s world is through dialogue in a spirit of compromise and reconciliation. Dialogue, through which we learn to listen to other points of view, is the way to build greater trust and transparency, and is the foundation of lasting friendship. Everyone from small children up to political leaders have to understand that violence and conflict are counterproductive, that they are not a realistic way to solve our problems.

This book makes a valuable contribution to such educational efforts by imagining how animals deal with trouble round the watering hole. It is a vivid scene that children will easily understand. I congratulate the authors for their keen appreciation of the importance of finding ways to educate children so they grow up learning not to lash out at the first sign of conflict, but to approach problems more reasonably. Genuine peace and reconciliation, whether in relation to ourselves or in relation to others, comes about through taking an understanding, respectful and non-violent approach to the challenges we face.”  – The Dalai Lama

“It would be a better world if every child had the chance to learn early in life about ways to resolve conflict through cooperation. In this wonderfully simple and instructive tale for children, accompanied by a practical teacher’s guide packed with tips and exercises, Gregg Relyea and Josh Weiss make this dream possible.” – William Ury, Co-author of Getting to Yes