Conflict Resolution

The tools have been grouped according to the “Ceed” or skill that they are attempting to guide, teach, or practice. Many of the tools in this toolkit correspond to more than one ceed and are therefore listed in multiple places.

Conflict Resolution: A way for two or more parties to find a peaceful and mutually agreed upon solution to a disagreement among them, using the skills of negotiation, courtesy, and calm reactions.

Action Research

Ask youth to conduct research on various conflicts by visiting peace education websites or multiple media sources. After researching the dimensions and various perspectives of

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All about Activists

Youth brainstorm a list of activists, leaders, philosophers, philanthropists, and others who have made a difference in their communities and/or the world. They identify the

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Buddy Bench

A simple idea to eliminate loneliness and isolation and foster friendship and inclusion on the playground or in any public space. They work best when

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Change the Ending

Revisit an event that ended with a less than desirable outcome. Encourage youth to create their own alternative endings. Why did they make the choices

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Character Lenses

While doing creative writing, have youth investigate the people involved in their storyboards. What types of people were involved? What do you think they were

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Community Care

Establish age appropriate shared jobs that rotate throughout the year and that will help build the classroom or home environment. Create a classroom or family

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Compass Points

An interactive activity that increases awareness of our own and others’ preferences and opens doors to empathy. Create four signs on large chart paper –

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Deflating Anger

Teach youth that anger can be a healthy emotion, and that it informs us about the importance of an issue. Teach them to remain calm

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Design Thinking

Map out the larger system within which a conflict or an issue resides. Discover how the system might be reinforcing the conflict or issue. Identify

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Family Meetings

Plan meetings as a whole family (try for weekly) where members discuss the upcoming week. Identify where family members might need some help. Family Meetings

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Fight or Flight

When people are upset, they access the fight/flight part of their brain. Do not try to solve problems if you or the youth are angry

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Group Conflict Challenge

Research and examine the different contemporary and indigenous systems for resolving conflicts. Form teams of problem-solvers representing the various systems. Each team is given a

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How does it feel?

After analyzing the information surrounding a problem or challenge, what is your reaction? Were the systems fair? Why or why not? Identify one or two

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Ho‘oponopono

Learn about Ho‘oponopono, the Hawaiian system for ‘setting it right,’ and restoring individual and community harmony and balance. It promotes acts of healing interpersonal conflicts

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I Am Here For You

When a young person is in the throes of anger, panic, or emotional outburst, often their minds and bodies are experiencing a stress response whereby

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I Statements

Used to confront a behavior without  placing blame on another. . Also used to recognize one’s  emotions. Another use is to state a point of

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If/Then Game

A basic tool to think through consequences, “If this happens, then what do you think will happen next?” or “If we decided to do this,

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Kind and Firm

It is the AND that brings kind AND firm together to avoid extremes. Begin by validating feelings and/or choices when possible. Examples, “I know you

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Land Management Systems

Mauka (mountain) to makai (ocean) management. In teams, draw an ahupua‘a (Hawaiian term for a large traditional socio-economic/geologic/climatic subdivision of land that was cooperatively managed).

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Let It Settle

A great visual tool to show the imbalance of a brain that is experiencing anger or rage, and how it is possible for the anger

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Logical Consequences

Use discipline to develop character and not to punish. Discipline means “to teach” and should not be punitive but should help a child to grow

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Mediation/Facilitation

Provide spaces for youth to practice the skills of mediation between them as well as facilitation of group discussions and problem solving. Hone their skills

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Mistakes & Learning

Establish a culture in your classroom or home where mistakes are welcomed and used as learning opportunities. Normalize mistakes by discussing them at mealtime or

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Modeling

Rather than just telling children and youth how they should act, show them. Show them in your own daily actions and words with them. Intentionally

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My Community

Focusing on wants and needs, have youth each draw their own classroom, school and/or family. How would they meet their needs? They will most likely

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Name it to Tame It

Help youth to get more specific and expand their emotional vocabulary, replacing basic feeling words with more sophisticated terms. They graduate from using words like

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Next Time Commitments

After going through a resolution process, have youth make commitments to one another and to their community about how they will do things differently next

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Peace Flower

A strategy for youth to problem-solve themselves. Between two children, they pass a flower back and forth. The first child begins by saying, “I felt

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Peace Table

Providing a space for problem solving is important. A peace table designates expectations for where and how youth will engage with each other. Peacebuilding literature,

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Peer Mediation

Train youth to be peer mediators. Use video to demonstrate what mediation looks like (i.e.: community heroes who help others and provide basic mediation skills).

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Peer Messaging

Youth and adults tend to “take sides” when conflicts erupt. It is important that when resolution is achieved, those involved in the conflict ensure that

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Play It Out

Create an end of the semester or end of the year skit or play on a particular historical event. Each child/student has a role. Play

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Pohaku Bowl

Have a public bowl where everyone has his or her own (identified) stone. There should also be a few unidentified stones. All stones are set

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Reframing

Use reframing to defuse anger and keep dialogue open and positive. To reframe, take a negative statement and remove the emotionally-charged, damaging, and accusatory words,

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Rewind It

Take a current event or an event within the classroom, school, family or community. If we were to rewind this event, how would we rebuild

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Rotating Facilitators

A way to build commitment, buy-in and skills is to alternate between facilitators during family meetings or classroom group work. Teach youth the skills of

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Safe Spaces

Ensure there is always a safe space for conversation. This is a space to gather, a place that honors, respects and makes people feel they

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Saving Face

Teach youth the importance of face-saving in a conflict. Teach them how to calm themselves or another angry person through deep breathing and validation of

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Shuttle Diplomacy

A strategy for people to use when they see potential for solutions but don’t feel comfortable or safe bringing their ideas up publicly. A form

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Silent Signals

Adults often talk too much and our youth tune out. A silent signal speaks louder than words. Smile and point to the shoes that need

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Six Thinking Hats

A simple, effective parallel thinking technique developed by E. de Bono that helps people be more productive, focused, and mindfully involved. It forces people to

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Stoplight

To help young people deal with feelings of anger and frustration, try using the visual of a stoplight: green is calm, yellow is frustrated, and

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Talking Stick

Use a tangible object like a stick, a flower, a ball, or something important to the group to facilitate civil discussions and collaborative activities. Three

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Technology Blackouts

Set aside times during the day when no one in the family touches technology. Turn off all cell phones, televisions, computers, etc. Youth who are

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The World Peace Game

TWPG is an elaborative hands-on, youth-driven game/exercise. Founded in 2010, TWPG Foundation is dedicated to sharing the global mission of peace, developing self-awareness, and the

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Try It On

n exploring conflict, commit to trying on different perspectives in the conflict. Draw out of a bowl a particular role with an attached explanation. Play

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Upstander

A person who recognizes when something is wrong and then acts to make it right; doing one’s best to help support and protect someone who

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What Should We Do?

Show pictures and/or video of certain situations at school and in the surrounding neighborhood. Examples include: seeing garbage on the floor, an elderly person dropping

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Where Were Women and Girls?

Explore what role females played in various events in providing leadership for problem-solving, collaboration and working together. How is that different or similar from today?

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