- Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education in Ireland - Ireland's Online Resource for Parents & Teachers

Parenting & Education

× Home Parents Associations About Us
Log in Register Forgot password? ×

Conflict & Children’s Difficult Behaviour

Diffusing Conflict:

The No 1 thing you can do is stay Calm – do whatever you need to do to remain calm and see the difference it makes. Watch how you are and your interaction, becoming proactive – not reactive is always better. Also if your interaction is positive most of the time, conflict is something you get over easily, as the relationship is better and you ‘get back on track’ quicker
  • Hit the PAUSE button
  • Take a deep breath and say ‘I’ll deal with it later’
  • Move away – even to other side of room breathing deeply allows you get in control of your response
  • Humour – sometimes can diffuse
  • Be Kind, firm and consistent without breaking relationship
  • Be Real – “I love you and don’t want to ‘lose it’ with you – I need you to ..”

Conflict Resolution is a skill they need to learn

  • When children fight-do not jump in-it does not WORK!
  • PAUSE..Listen..Help them to sort out relationship
  • Calm voice – calms the situation
  • “How can you sort it out so you are both happy”?
  • Encourage them to work as a team helps sibling rivalry; reward them with your attention when they are playing together without fighting.

Out of control child needs – A Parent who is IN control

  • Stay calm as your behaviour gets repeated by your children
  • Role model the behaviour you wish to see from them

Acknowledge how they feel

  • “Sounds like you’re upset; I’m happy to talk with you when you calm down”


  • Only use consequences you are in control of; TV, pocket money
  • “If you choose to tidy before dinner; you’re choosing a TV show after; you decide”

This article was written by Sheila O Malley. Sheila owns Practical Parenting and offers courses, 1 to 1 support and School Talks as well as Company talks on Parenting and wellbeing. See for details. Book a One Day Saturday course from 10-4pm with a friend or partner and get the tips to need to support you in the hardest job you ever do!  Check out Sheila's scheduled autumn Parenting courses here