Lesson 7: Make an agreement
Quote: Unless both sides win, no agreement can be
Statement: This skill teaches problem solving strategies and helps children to be
less of a victim of conflict and more of a victor. Many children just focus on
what they want in a problem and see only their side. Teaching them to make an
agreement encourages them stop and try to see the problem from the other side,
and then try to brainstorm ideas of win win options. When you teach children
how to make an agreement you could be investing powerful skills into the
leaders of tomorrow!
Research: According to an article in the Scientific American titled ‘How Diversity
Makes Us Smarter’, by Katherine W. Phillips (2014), there has been
"decades of research by organizational scientists, psychologists,
sociologists, economists and demographers" that recognise that solving problems
with people who are different to us can be difficult. Children may have
conflict with others who want different things to them, or have different
perceptions, personalities, cultures and expertise etc. However, the studies
identified that being able to make agreements and solve problems with diverse
people builds innovation and creativity, encourages broader thinking and
perceptions, and leads to better decision making and confidence in problem
Tips to teach this skill at home:
1. This can sometimes be a tricky
skill to teach children. A helpful question to ask is; "What do you both
want and why?" Once children can establish this it can help to brainstorm
ideas. Resolving conflict can be difficult if children keep blaming and dragging
up what has been done in the past. Identifying what they want helps them to
move on and have more fun.
2. Sometimes making an agreement can
mean you don’t get everything that you want – there may have to be compromise.
Something can be better than nothing. Try to find situations in the home to use
as an example to teach this to children.
3. As a family, brainstorm different
ideas of how you could make an agreement for the following problems; (1) Two
people both want to go first on a board game. (2) A sister is on the Xbox and
refuses to get off. The brother wants a turn. (3) You and your sister have to
clean up your room but you don’t want to.
4. With your child, visit the BRIDGE
BUILDERS Online Learning Program Lesson Seven and do some of the fun activities
as a family. Validating this learning empowers your child with valuable skills
to learn how to; Make an Agreement and be empowered for life!
By Jocelyne Chirnside
Empowering Life Skills