Recently, I was facilitating a conflict resolution training with high school leadership students, where we talked about strategies for listening, responding when we’ve hurt someone, and managing conflict in difficult situations. At the end of the workshop, a few students came up to me and shared, “I can’t believe I’ve never learned this before! Our team is going to be so different.”
When I first learned about conflict resolution, I had a similar response.
I first learned about conflict resolution when I was in my first semester of university. In the span of a few months, my life turned upside down because I knew that understanding conflict as a dynamic with the potential for growth and health can create deep impact within families, friendships, communities and larger systems. I knew, that in a world with so many complex problems, that healthy conflict resolution could be the drop on parched ground, the drop that creates a big impact, especially in the lives of young people.
“The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made of single drops.” – Kate Sheppard
We know that for youth to thrive with these skills, the adults in their lives need to understand and use these skills, too. So we’ve created this blog with you in mind, educators, parents, families, caregivers, and youth leaders! Here you’ll find tools, ideas and resources from our community of educators, peace practitioners, parents, facilitators and students to help you manage conflict in your relationships, and to coach the youth in your life to do the same.
Coaching youth through conflict can be challenging. Modelling healthy responses conflict can be daunting. In order to help the youth in our lives manage conflict, we believe we also much help ourselves. To put on your life jacket before you put on someone else’s.
So put on your life jacket, and get ready dive in to be the drop that starts a ripple effect in the lives of youth around you.
Katie Gingerich is the founder and director of TREE, and is an active participant of the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement. Since 2012, she has developed peace education programs for camps, community groups, and classrooms, and is passionate about giving youth the tools they need to transform conflict and seek justice.
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