This open letter was originally published on

When our children were in kindergarten, their teachers taught them a simple way to resolve conflicts. It goes something like this:

STEP 1: Child #1 explains how they’re feeling using “I statements” (e.g., “I was really upset when you grabbed my toy.”).

STEP 2: Child #2 repeats verbatim what Child #1 said to ensure they’ve listened and understood (“You were really upset when I grabbed your toy.”).

STEP 3: The children switch roles and repeat steps 1 and 2.

STEP 4: The children then work together to figure out a fair solution…

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