TIP of the WEEK: Conflict Resolution

December 5, 2014

It is not uncommon for children and adults with PWS to find themselves in the center of a conflict at school, work, or in the community. Poor impulse controls, communication challenges and/or a lack of self awareness can lead to struggles in certain social situations. Here are some ways to help resolve conflict if it arises:

• Be sure that your child understands or at least hears his or her part in the conflict. It may very well be that a lack of preparation or understanding on someone else’s part caused the problem, but it is more important and beneficial for your child to hear how he or she could have handled the situation differently. You can then privately address the other party involved.

• Don’t rush to fix it. If your child loses a job or a friend as a result of his or her behavior, don’t try to resolve this on your own. Your child needs to be the person to explain and apologize. Let them do the fixing. If you are always the one cleaning up the mess, your child will not learn that actions have natural consequences nor will they learn that if he or she caused it. The child needs to fix it.

• Raise your expectations. The higher you set the bar, the higher your child needs to reach. The most successful children that I have met have parents who expect more, push more and do not allow their child’s diagnoses to excuse poor behavior.

• Be a support. Validate the challenges that your child has and coach him or her as to how to repair a damaged relationship; but remember that the key is to support and not to do it for them.

There will likely be many conflicts along the road. Teaching cause and effect from a young age allows children the benefit of stronger relationships as they age.

Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

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