CONFLICT RESOLUTION: "Is Parliament the new boxing ring?"

There was an incident that occurred last week in our House of Assembly between two Members of Parliament (click here to read the full article in the Tribune online).The question on everyone’s mind was how could the leaders of our nation behave in this manner?  The incident, though, is hardly unique to The Bahamas.

Believe it or not there are a lot of these conflicts happening amongst the leaders of nations all around the world.  For example, in May of this year there was a fist fight in the Venezuelan parliament when members of the opposition displayed a banner criticizing a decision that banned them from speaking in parliament unless they recognized the electoral victory of President Nicolas Maduro (heir to the legacy of the late Hugo Chavez) or the Ukrainian brawl in March that started over a particular language being used in the chamber by one side and each side calling each other “neo-fascists”. 

While the recent incident in our parliament, clearly, was not on the level of the brawls mentioned above, still is this what we impress upon the minds of our children?  That fighting (or slapping) is a legitimate means of conflict resolution?  What causes us to resort to violence when conflict arises?

Conflict is a natural part of life.  We don't expect for two people to always agree on everything, all the time.  (We know that from being married, right?! LOL...jokes!)  We all have differences; differences in views, values, ideals, perceptions, desires, and the list goes on.  We can become very passionate about our differences and that can cause a situation to get out of hand.  But just think, if we all considered conflict as an opportunity for growth and change in our environments, the potential for a more positive outcome is great!

To be successful in resolving conflicts, I feel there are two very important skills we must teach our children at a very early age:

courtesy of www.cartoonstock.com 
1. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION:  Conflict is a situation where the parties involved feel threatened in some way or another.  How we communicate with each other determines how successful we will be in finding a resolution.  How do you communicate with your child? 

Children want to be heard.  So, let them talk! Let them tell you how their day went, the many stories they may have (even if it goes on for hours...lol), and their jokes (even the not so funny ones).  Show them you are listening and what they are saying is important, even the small stuff.  Small stuff turns into big stuff and if you've created an environment for them to be able to express themselves then it won’t be difficult for them to talk through the really big stuff. 

Better yet, talk to them! Have an open line of communication and they will learn from YOU how to express themselves. If all a child sees are adults yelling and "carrying on", guess what, he or she will learn to carry on the same way.  When children get frustrated and start whining and crying as a means to demonstrate how they feel, it is our responsibility to teach them that that is not the way we express ourselves.  Let’s talk it out, tell me why you are frustrated.  Or when baby brother snatches big sister's toy out of her hand, instead of hitting him, we must show big sister how to react to it. In the same breath, we must also explain to baby brother that his actions were unfavorable and what he ought to have done. In the end both parties are shown how to manage that situation for the future.  How they are taught to handle these kinds of circumstances will determine how they will handle bigger situations.

2. EMOTIONAL STABILITY & AWARENESS:  One must be aware of and understand their emotions.  How do we teach a child to understand their emotions?  Well, it’s the way we interact with them, the environment we provide them, and how we educate them.  

On our Facebook page a while back, I posted this quote;
“Inside every child is an 'emotional tank' waiting to be filled with love. When a child really feels loved, he will develop normally, but when the love tank is empty, the child will misbehave. Much of the misbehaviour of children is motivated by the cravings of an empty 'love tank'. Dr. Ross Campbell
We must create a peaceful environment for our children to flourish.  Emotional awareness goes hand in hand with open communication.  It’s important to not only know how you are feeling but to be able to describe how you are feeling. Conflict triggers strong emotions and if we are not comfortable/stable with our emotions, unsure about what we are feeling, or are unable to manage  emotions under stress then we aren't able to understand others and communicate clearly and effectively.  This leads to being unsuccessful in resolving matters.

As leaders, parents, teachers, etc., it is our duty to prepare our children for the world.  We are required to equip them with all the necessary skills they will need to be successful individuals. 
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A country is only as strong as the character of its people! We as leaders, parents, teachers, etc., of this beautiful country ought to have some basic common goals, like making this country the best place in the world to live and visit and raising our children to become good, upstanding citizens. Not only does this mean teaching them but also being the example.    

I will leave you with a few quotes I found online that talk about conflict resolution…

 
"If we don’t change the direction we are going, we are likely to end up where we are heading." – Chinese Proverb
 
"You can’t talk your way out of something you behaved your way into. You have to behave your way out of it." – Doug Conant (CEO of Campbell Soup, as quoted in Harvard Business Review)

And my favourite...

"The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist on this small planet.  Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences and clashes of interests, whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue." - The Dalai Lama


Signed, 
trying to raise great citizens, Candilaria

2 comments:

rozina islam popy said...

Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you.
boxing ring

asafshani said...
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