Verbal Conflict between Children/Youth

The Counselling Corner – Martensville, Saskatchewan
Child, Youth, Adult, Couple, & Family Counselling

Verbal Conflict between Children/Youth

Submitted by Wendy Kritzer BSW MSW RSW

Children and youth experience conflict (disagreement or argument) with other children and youth on a regular basis. All kids have times when their own needs or wants are different from their peers. By providing specific options for resolving conflict, we provide our children and youth the ability to handle conflict with strong skills. The conflict between children and youth occurs with siblings, peers at the school level, extra-curricular sports, in the parks, etc. We need to educate our children and youth on how to manage conflict healthily with strong skills to problem solve.  By doing this, we equip our children and youth with skills to take into their adult lives.

By allowing children to work through low-key bickering, we help them learn which social behaviors assist them.  It also allows the child to build his/her independence and self-control. Some other socially appropriate cues they pick up on within this process are:  listening to other’s viewpoints, negotiating, sharing, compromising, trading, and problem-solving.

Skills to teach your children when dealing with conflict:
-Use kind words when communicating
-No use of name-calling or insults
-Being honest and listen to other’s viewpoint
-Brainstorm solutions with peers
-Be willing to compromise (explain what this means)

Skills for Verbal Conflict that has escalated:

1. If a child/youth is saying rude or disrespectful comments to another child/youth, we need to teach the receiving child/youth the first tool, which is to ignore.

  1. If the offending child/youth continues to say rude or disrespectful comments to the receiving child/youth, then we teach him/her to use their words respectfully if they are comfortable. For example “Please stop.”
  2. If the offending child/youth continue to say rude or disrespectful comments to the receiving child/youth, then we teach him/her to go to an adult and ask for help.

When a conflict is physical, we should always instruct the child or youth to go directly to an adult for support.

These tools will provide skills for our children and youth enabling them to resolve conflicts on their own. Children and youth who take responsibility for their interactions naturally develop skills for success in solving the conflict. These same tools/skills will be utilized in their adulthood.

 If you have further questions concerning the conflict between children /youth, please email me at

If you have topics that you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at

Until next time –

From The Counselling Corner


2 thoughts on “Verbal Conflict between Children/Youth

  1. Hi, Wendy! I happened to be in Martensville today doing an adoption home visit and saw a sign advertising your business! I’m absolutely delighted that you have gone into private practice… Now I can refer people to you directly! I read a couple blogs and love them. This is a great website and I wish you all the best in this endeavour!


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