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Get On the Same Page!

11 Sep

So, it’s been quite a “trying” time in our house over the past week. School has started and, with it, the start of tantrums, courtesy of my (newly) 5 year old son.

Every year, it’s the same story–the first day of school goes well. Then, for the next week, he puts on a show of crying spells, tantrums, refusal to leave…etc. All I can do is weather the storm and know that it will eventually get better.images

This year seemed particularly tough–it’s the first time he’ll stay for the entire school day. A few days ago, he threw his shoes out of my car window. Need I elaborate?

However, I have an ally this year–the school director.

After witnessing the “show,” she spent some time with him explaining and redirecting. Then, she called me and asked if I would be willing to come up with a mutual “explanation” for him, so we were on the same page. The explanation? “Our family schedule has changed, so you need to stay at school for the school day.”

Turns out, just being on the same page with her has already helped. No longer is he confused about why he’s there so much longer. He knows. And, he’s hearing it from all sides.

This got me thinking about conflict resolution and how confusing the “message” can get. Especially when the conflict concerns groups of people, wouldn’t it be nice if each group was on the same page and not confusing the issue with individual messages?

Next time I mediate–or conduct therapy–I’ll remember to ask each person or group to clarify their issue, so the message doesn’t get muddled.

Lesson learned.

Britt

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