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Showing posts from September, 2019

Conflict happens! Let’s use it for good

By Karen Beranek

Have you ever seen a conflict between youth in your program? Of course you have!

You may have said, "You two are old enough, you need to figure it out." You may have avoided the conflict by walking right by and pretending you didn't hear it, thinking "It really isn’t that serious" or "They will work it out, they always do."

Conflict between youth is normal. As youth workers we can think of it as negative and avoid it. Or we can use it as a learning opportunity for the young people we work with. Here are some better responses: "Tell me what happened", "How did that make you feel?" "What would you like to see next?" "How can we make sure this doesn’t happen again?"

The ability to reframe conflict is a characteristic of a high-quality youth program. Learning to work with those who have different views is an essential life skill. In a youth program, there's a strong connection between positive s…