Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wyatt the Wonder Dog Shares Five Steps for Conflict Resolution

One of the ongoing challenges of elementary age children is friendship; making new friends, keeping friends, handling conflicts with friends... the list is endless. Do you spend a lot of time talking with students about friendship? Although it is a common problem, I usually find that if I can find a way for the two friends to communicate how they feel and what the problem is, we can usually resolve the problem at least for a period of time. Old habits do of course tend to resurface, but with most interpersonal problems, communication is the key.
The best way to encourage children to resolve conflicts is to encourage them to follow a few basic steps of conflict resolution.
  1. Listen to the other person's side of the story
  2. Share their side of the story
  3. Suggest ways to resolve differences
  4. Reach an agreement on future behavior
  5. Develop a plan for the future
In order to better address this ongoing concern in an entertaining but educational way, I have recently revised and published a second edition of  Wyatt The Wonder Dog: Learns About Good Manners. Wyatt is the dog who wonders about everything and in this original story he wonders how to solve a friendship problem.  He is friends with a rather bossy inconsiderate neighbor  named Max who doesn't take turns, rarely asks for his input on what to play and always leaves Wyatt with a messy room after each visit. Wyatt is fed up with it, but what can he do? After many unrealistic and hilarious attempts to avoid the problem, Wyatt discovers that facing it head on and talking to his friend is the best approach. Parents, teachers and counselors should all be able to use this book to help young children solve some of their friendship problems.

In the second edition of the book I have supplemented the story with a lesson plan for counselors who use the book in classroom guidance, a worksheet, instructions for making puppy dog ears and sample vignettes for students to practice using the "I statement" to solve friendship problems.  You can check out the book or purchase it here on Amazon.


 Let me know what you think about the book!  I'd love for you to leave a review on the Amazon site.  Like this post?  Please share it with your friends on facebook and twitter!

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