conflict in real life

Conflict resolution skills addressed to children as young as 9 month have been beautifully discussed today during an intense and interesting meeting in the frame of the work I am doing in Barnas Fredsverden.

sato kanaeI spent the morning reading a whole PhD on this issue, printed numerous very interesting papers and documented myself on this amazing subject. Serendipity brought the news to me this morning, that one my best friends has been recently challenged with an issue in the kindergarden where hatred is discreetly promoted through the channel of historic events and where words like bloodshed seemed to be unproblematic with very small kids specially when it is “just” in a play or a song you have to recite. Enemies. War. Winners over loosers. I got infuriated and more confident than ever that my project was applicable and this has to be enhanced and promoted and I would dedicate myself to make this happen. “conflict resolution and peace hygiene!”. in the kindergarden, in the schools, in the family …everywhere…

I knew from experience that from theory to practice there is a lovely gap and which unfortunately tonight I feel has swallowed me and my beautiful intentions.

as if someone up there, down here, or somewhere in the universe wanted to challenge me directly on this very topic, some few hours after the meeting with beautiful projects to come in the future, I got it right back in my face!

A difficult case mixing probably more than 2 agendas, 2 issues or 2 personalities. To be more precise  2 little girls – (mine and her best friend) both crying all the tears of their tiny bodies – impossible to speak to or to bring to “reason”. Just by writing this word, I know feel how it is exactly this that we adults try to do. It is exactly what we should not do. They were both right and both wrong. They both had 2 different objectives which I understood pretty well, really. But did not know how to handle. Eventually I understood that I was a bad mediator, because language, and because stress and because I was involved in the conflict probably as much as them as well. Not that I chose one over the other, but by not choosing, I drafted a third way which did not help at all. So I understood that my only soothing helping role would be to allow them both to cry it out, to talk about the pain in their heart – and calming down slowly the crisis…..

this has been an exhausting path. A quite harsh revelation. Theoreticians are very weak in their house….and the universe is full of possibilities and beautiful ideas but when it comes to reality…it bites!


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