Interaction with others sometimes brings distress e.g. frustration, hurt, fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, alienation, loneliness, etc. Feelings are often buried within, only to be expressed later through words or actions, sometimes aggressively.
At Plumfield, we take the necessary time to meet individually with (offending) students to help them recognize, understand, and express their feelings and perspective of the situation. Individual sessions are followed by a joint meeting, with the goal of enabling each student to express his or her point of view to the other. The skill of using “I statements” (I feel . . . when . . . because . . .) helps each person express himself or herself and enables each to “hear” the other.
The adult facilitates the learning of the skill and “hearing” of the other. It is the students who facilitate the mending of the relationship. Students usually want to get along, provided their own needs are met and they feel respected. When they have the opportunity to see things from the other person’s point of view, they often quickly apologize and forgive.
Occasionally, students are unable to reconcile a situation and an adult must step in to minister an equitable solution. This frees the students to remain in a relationship and play within acceptable bounds.
As students become adept using relational skills, they are slower to react, quicker to see things from the other person’s point of view and use their skill naturally at a moment of conflict.