Conflict Resolution in Early Childhood


In everyday life, people deal with conflicts, and early childhood is no exception. Conflict refers to when people have a difference in opinion on a particular matter, and that can cause disagreements. In early childhood, a lot is happening, and the children learn new things every day; therefore, conflicts are high. Having a conflict resolution plan is essential as it helps ensure that every disagreement and conflict is solved to avoid any more mistakes. Conflict management in children is a bit different from adults as, at times, they lack the basic understanding of things (Jenkins, Ritblatt, & MCDonald, 2008). Even the conflict resolving is an opportunity to learn more for the children. Children also tend to have competing ideas, and f not well monitored, they can lead to different conflicts.

Causes of Early Childhood Conflict

There are various reasons why children of this age can engage in conflicts. Among the causes here can be the different relationships that they have as students. They get to meet and form friendships, and this can be a cause for conflicts. There is also the use of different toys for learning, and they can be a cause for conflict between the children. When every child wasn’t to play with the same toy simultaneously, they are bound to disagree and even end up fighting if the situation is not controlled. Given the incomplete understanding that the children have, many conflicts arise from this. They fail to have a complete experience of things, and luckily, these conflicts provide a situation for them to understand better and increase their knowledge. When it comes to such cases, the teachers and the parents have to learn different ways to help them solve the conflicts. Handling children has to be done with care, unlike when it comes to adults.

Discipline Approach

Notably, handling children in conflict management is more critical than adults. That is why the discipline approaches chosen have to be the best and positively impact the children. It is important to note that rewarding disruptive behavior in the classroom can be detrimental to the students. If one of the students is in the wrong, then the best action has to be taken, and they have to be aware that they have been wronged. The disciplined preventive approach works to direct the students on what is wrong and what is right. With this, they work within the provided parameters, which prevents them from arguing. Another discipline approach is making sure that those in the wrong acknowledge their mistakes and atone for them. By the end of the day, they should be on good terms.

Addressing a Concerned Parent

Dealing with disgruntled parents over their children is very common within early childhood. When handling a concerned parent, it is essential to note that whatever the situation, you have maintained your cool as the teacher. At times the parents come in with so much anger, and being calm is the first step, build the parent’s trust by using a quiet voice. Enhancing teacher-parent communication is also very important. Offering positive feedback to the parent and explaining the situation at hand helps in handling any conflict. If a parent is complaining about their child being hurt, the handing has to be done delicately. The parent must know that the teacher follows up (Marbach-Ad, Eagan, & Thompson, K. 2015). Here, the teacher explains the disciplinary approaches used and how the students are being handled. With early childhood, solving conflicts is crucial, and it has to be done conclusively so that the same mistakes are avoided. In case of bullying, the bullies have to be disciplined to ensure that they have learned their lesson. Generally, they have to acknowledge that they are in the wrong to then work on making things work.




Jenkins, S., Ritblatt, S., & MCDonald, J. S. (2008). Conflict resolution among early childhood educators. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 25(4), 429-450.

Marbach-Ad, G., Eagan, L., & Thompson, K. (2015). A discipline-based teaching and learning center. NY: Springer Publications.


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