Conflict resolution is a process aimed at settling disputes between individuals or groups. Conflicts often involve intense emotions such as anger and jealousy which can make resolutions difficult. Conflict resolution activities are processes aimed at helping disputants resolve their disagreements; such activities are commonly used to help children and teens discuss and overcome personal problems.
Anger Ball Toss
Anger ball toss is a simple game allowing children to tell others what upset them. All participants stand in a circle, and the game leader states something that makes him angry. The leader then tosses a foam ball to one of the participants, and he must describe something that makes him angry. That player throws the ball to a new person, and the game progresses in this manner until everyone has caught the ball at least once. Children do not have the same emotional intelligence as adults and may be unaware of the feelings of others. Announcing sources of anger in plain words can help children understand one another and avoid actions likely to cause anger.
Conflict brainstorming is a group activity aimed at making participants think constructively about conflict, arming them with the tools to deal with conflict in the future. The leader of the activity should prepare a list of possible conflict scenarios similar to those the participants may face. The leader then announces a scenario, and the participants must make a list of possible solutions for the problem. After participants have thought of as many solutions as they can, they vote on the best solution. The leader then announces a new conflict scenario, and the group repeats the brainstorming process.
Peer mediation is a conflict resolution technique where trained, impartial peers help conflicting parties discuss problems in a civil manner, guiding them toward a resolution acceptable to both sides. Mediators attempt to determine the source of tension between the parties and get them to discuss their problems. Mediators do not attempt to make decisions for the disputants, but rather facilitate discussion so the parties can come to their own resolution. Peer mediation can be an effective conflict resolution activity because disputants may be more receptive to peers than a mediator with authority over them. Also, because disputants come to their own resolution, both parties will be more likely to be satisfied with the result than if a resolution is forced upon them.
Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.