Your Kids & Conflict Resolution: Why It Matters

Photo Credit: Camp Fire Georgia.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. While there are many good ways we can address bullying with the kids and teens in our lives, this month we’re going to focus on just one strategy related to Camp Fire’s expertise that can make a difference in bullying prevention: Conflict Resolution.

Camp Fire youth are on the front lines of the fight against bullying every day. This is why we believe in giving kids and teens the tools to de-escalate, manage and prevent conflict conflict—with help and guidance from the adults in their lives, of course.

In fact, research shows that when kids step in to intervene, they can stop more than half of bullying situations on their own.

And youth who are bullied say that having their peers step in is more helpful than handling it on their own or enlisting adult assistance.

Bullying is a serious problem that absolutely requires adult attention and intervention. But we can add some kid power to that adult wisdom: We can teach teens and kids conflict resolution skills, such as how to identify and manage their emotions, differentiate between aggression and assertiveness, and brainstorm solutions.

Bullying situations are still way too common. Roughly 20% of high school students say they are bullied at school, and the majority of students never report the bullying. Those rates go up for students of color (24.7% for African American students), students who are heavier (around 60%) and students who identify as LGBT (74.1%).

Bullying effects are severe and long-lasting. Kids who are bullied have more trouble with:

  • Sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Adjusting at school

The bullies themselves have their own problems. Kids who bully others have more problems with:

  • Academics
  • Substance abuse
  • Violent behavior

True to our spirit of innovation and expertise in youth development, Camp Fire began developing its own Conflict Resolution program in 2011. We’ve been piloting the program over the past six years in Kansas City to more than 9,000 students, and was met with rave reviews from a diverse array of parents, teachers and students. We’re excited to launch the Conflict Resolution curricula nationwide in the New Year to our entire Camp Fire network (53 councils in 25 states and D.C.).

In our next post, we’ll take a closer look at what specifically our conflict resolution is teaching and how it’s helping kids and teens manage conflict in a healthy way, in all areas of their lives.

For more on this topic, see Camp Fire National Headquarter’s CEO & President Cathy Tisdale’s Op-Ed in the Kansas City Star: During National Bullying Prevention Month, we can all help bullied kids resolve conflicts.