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Resolving Conflict with Peers at St Andrews Bangkok

St Andrews Bangkok school building with logo

It goes without saying that friendships are an essential part of school life. Your child will spend a big chunk of their waking hours at St Andrews, so it’s important they have people they connect with. Of course, having fun with their peers makes a child’s time at school even more enjoyable and memorable. At St Andrews, we strive to create a warm and inclusive environment where children create strong and lasting bonds. These friendships bring many benefits, including:

  • A sense of community
  • Improved social skills.
  • A feeling of wellbeing and contentment.
  • A growing sense of empathy and emotional intelligence.
  • More opportunities to collaborate with others.
  • A positive attitude to learning.

– and understanding what makes a healthy friendship – isn’t always easy. Conflict between friends can arise for many reasons, and this can be painful and distressing for your child.

The best way to resolve conflict with peers  - Conflict with Peers

Understanding that Conflict is Normal

Conflict is common in all relationships. Disagreeing with one another is a natural part of life and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with a friendship. 

Children can fall out with their friends for many reasons, from misunderstandings to feeling left out to instances of bullying. These disagreements can be short-lived, big arguments, or even end a friendship.

While conflict between friends can be upsetting, there can be positives. Having to deal with friendship problems will give your child an opportunity to work on their social skills, find a way to overcome differences, and learn to communicate their emotions.

signs saying yes or no for conflict

The Best Ways to Resolve Conflict

As a parent, you can help your child navigate their way through a disagreement or friendship breakdown.

Here are our expert Counselling Centre team’s tips on the best way to resolve conflict.

  • Communicate openly

When a conflict with friends arises, encourage your child to communicate honestly with the other person or people involved. They should share thoughts calmly and respectfully, using ‘I’ statements to express themselves. This ‘assertive communication’ approach is a great way to get across, in a calm but clear way, how your child is feeling and why.

  • Listen and learn

Make sure your child gives the other person or people the chance to tell their side of the story. That way they can learn and understand how they feel.

Young girl feeling upset or depressed
  • Plan ahead – and choose the right time and place

It’s important for your child to think about what they want to say ahead of time. They should explain what the problem is and how it affects them. Suggest they choose a quiet place where both parties feel comfortable.

  • Don’t blame or name-call

Antagonising someone only makes it harder for them to hear or understand concerns. Encourage your child to stay calm and refrain from blaming their friend(s).

  • Describe feelings

Encourage your child to share how they’re feeling – and describe how the other person’s actions affect them. For example, ‘When you ignored me in class, I felt sad and embarrassed, because we normally sit together’.

  • Work on a solution

Once your child and their friend(s) have shared their feelings, encourage them to come up with a solution. Working together is much more effective than one person telling the other to change. Be specific: ‘I will come and sit with you at lunch tomorrow’ is better than a vague ‘Maybe next time I’ll save you a seat’.

Knowing When to Step in and Support Your Child

Young girl writing a message asking for help
A Horizontal image /poster covering the Social Issues of child abuse, by a schoolchild sat at a desk asking for help by a written message saying Help with a sad face . Room for copy space and text

Striking the right balance between helping your child and letting them sort things out on their own isn’t easy. 

Try to keep an eye on your child’s social relationships. Then, if and when problems arise, you’ll be able to provide the right support. Aim to be your child’s coach: acknowledge their feelings, demonstrate calm, caring, listening behaviour, reflect together, and then work on finding a solution.

Of course, the challenge is often figuring out when to step in, what level of support to offer, and when to stay out of it altogether. If you jump in to resolve every conflict with friends, then your child may not learn how to do this on their own. Every situation is different, though, and you’re the best person to know what your child needs.

Our Team Can Help!

It’s important to reiterate that conflict with friends is completely natural. We see it at St Andrews every day! But with the right support, these issues are easy to repair and heal.

Of course, our team of therapists, counsellors, and learning specialists are committed to ensuring your child’s time at St Andrews is both happy and harmonious. Our school-wide commitment to wellbeing – delivered in warm and inclusive community – creates a safe space where every student receives the personalised care and expert guidance they need to flourish.

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