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Handling Conflicts with Friends

Conflicts can arise often for children with weaknesses in perspective taking, self-regulation, and problem solving. Handling Conflicts teaches resolutions in a slow, step-by-step process that removes the emotions so that sound decisions can be made with others’ feelings in mind.

Preview an SEL skills lesson: Handling Conflicts with Friends

1 Show the video to your students

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Disagreements or arguments with friends
are called Conflicts.

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Conflicts with friends
can happen from time to time

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and may make us feel upset
or uncomfortable.

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When we solve the conflict or problem,
everyone feels better

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and the friendship usually returns
to normal.

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To handle conflicts with friends,

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we can use the
Problem Solving Steps.

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The first step is to identify the problem.

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This means that we need to figure out
what our problem is.

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Go back and try to think of
what might have caused the conflict

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between you and your friend.

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Conflicts are almost always
both people’s fault.

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Each person has done something wrong.

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Think first how you might have hurt
your friend’s feelings.

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Next, think about how your friend
hurt your feelings.

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Once you identify the cause of the conflict,

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next ask yourself,

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“Can I solve the problem by myself
or do I need an adult?”

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The third step is to come up with
at least two solutions to the problem.

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Many times, a conflict
with a friend can be solved

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with a simple apology
for whatever caused the disagreement.

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The fourth step is to think about
what might happen

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if we tried each solution.

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Then, pick the best solution.

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Now, decide if the problem is solved.

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We know we have solved the problem
if everyone feels better.

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To handle conflicts with friends, we:

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Identify the problem by figuring out
what we did wrong

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and what the other person did wrong.

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Decide if you need help to solve this.

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Do we need adults to help us,
or can we handle it by ourselves?

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Come up with multiple solutions to try.

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Decide which solution is best.

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Is an apology needed?

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Decide if we have solved the conflict.

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Let’s watch Andy handle a conflict with Niko.

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Niko:
Hey, Andy. What’s up?

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Andy:
Not much.

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I’m excited to hangout after class though.

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Niko:
I can’t.

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Andy:
What? Why?

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Niko: I made plans to go to the mall
with my sister.

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Andy:
Are you serious?

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Why would you hang out
with your little sister?

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Niko: Hey, why are you being
such a baby about this?

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Did Andy handle the conflict
with Niko well?

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No, Andy did not.

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How do you think everyone is feeling?

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Andy: I can’t believe Niko
canceled our plans like that.

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He didn’t even say sorry.

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Niko: I forgot I told Andy
I could hang out today,

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but now he’s being such a jerk.

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I don’t want to hang out anymore.

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Andy and Niko both did something wrong.

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Niko hurt Andy’s feelings
by changing plans.

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Andy then hurt Niko’s feelings
by using an angry tone with him.

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This did not solve their problem.

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Let’s watch Andy and Niko try again.

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Niko:
Hey, Andy. What’s up?

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Andy:
Not much.

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I’m excited to hangout after class though.

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Niko:
I can’t.

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Andy:
What? Why?

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Niko: I made plans
to go to the mall with my sister.

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Andy:
Are you serious?

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Why would you hang out with your little sister?

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Niko:
Andy seems upset.

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Did I say something to make him mad?

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He’s probably mad
because I changed our plans.

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I can fix this problem myself.

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I could explain that I forgot
about our plans,

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make new plans with him,

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or tell him I’m sorry.

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I’m going to apologize

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and see if we can make new plans
next week.

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Niko:
Hey man, I’m sorry.

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I forgot about our plans.

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Can we hang out next week?

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Andy:
I overreacted here.

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Niko forgot about our plans,
but I shouldn’t have yelled at him.

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Andy:
Yeah, sorry I overreacted.

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I shouldn’t have yelled at you.

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Niko:
It’s okay.

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You can come over next week
and we can play video games.

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Andy:
Okay, deal.

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How did Andy and Niko solve
their conflict this time?

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How do you think they’re feeling now?

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Andy: I’m glad we apologized to each other
and went back to being friends.

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Niko: I’m glad that Andy and I
are okay now.

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Saying sorry and suggesting new plans
was a good way to solve our problem.

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Niko handled the conflict that time.

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He used the Problem Solving Steps
to work through the conflict

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and come up with a solution.

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He noticed Andy was upset
and identified the cause of the conflict.

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Then, he was able to think of a solution.

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Niko stayed calm and apologized to Andy
for changing their plans unexpectedly.

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When he apologized,
Andy thought about what he did wrong

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and apologized for his role
in the conflict, too.

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They made new plans
and both boys felt better.

00:07:15.153 –> 00:07:17.395
To handle conflicts with friends, we:

00:07:18.164 –> 00:07:21.113
Identify the problem by figuring out
what we did wrong

00:07:21.138 –> 00:07:22.645
and what the other person did wrong.

00:07:23.841 –> 00:07:26.027
Decide if you need help to solve this.

00:07:26.159 –> 00:07:29.363
Do we need adults to help us,
or can we handle it by ourselves?

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Come up with multiple solutions,
at least two, to try.

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Decide which solution is best.

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Is an apology needed?

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Decide if we have solved the conflict.

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Other SEL materials on Handling Conflicts with Friends
Handling Conflicts with Friends Video
Handling Conflicts with Friends

Pre-k and K

Solving Problems with Friends Interactive
Solving Problems with Friends

Middle & High School

Interactive: Handling Conflicts with Friends Activity
Interactive: Handling Conflicts with Friends

Elementary School