How to End an Argument

Child taking toy“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1, ESV)

If more than one person lives in your household, you will have disagreements.

If more than one child lives your household, you’ll have quite a few disagreements.

If more than one young child lives in your household, some days will feel like all you have is disagreements.

That’s because the people in your household are sinners, and little children are little sinners who need lots of instruction.

One simple way to help a child learn to end an argument is to train him to answer softly.

  • Memorize Proverbs 15:1 with him.
  • Talk about the verse┬átogether. What happens when we answer softly? What happens when we respond with harsh words?
  • Talk about specific times when he has responded kindly and when he has responded harshly. Which was better?
  • Talk about Jesus and the soft answers He gave when being wronged. Remind your child ┬áthat Jesus loved him so much that He was even willing to die rather than fight back against those who wanted to kill Him. Jesus’ death (and resurrection) are what gives him the strength to be kind, too. Jesus will help him.
  • Role play and coach him through imaginary disagreements. What can he say if his little brother grabs his toy and starts screaming? Do this during a rational, peaceful moment instead of waiting until the fight is in progress. Help him prepare for the inevitable.
  • If he’s old enough, have him draw a picture of himself and a sibling, add some dialogue bubbles and have him dictate what he should say when wronged, while you write it down for him. Post his picture in a prominent place.
  • Start the day praying together for the strength to answer softly when wronged.
  • In the midst of a real-life disagreement, take the time to stop and pray together. Then help him respond with a soft answer. (You may want to include the offender, as well. And of course, the offender needs instruction, too.)
  • When you overhear him responding on his own with a soft answer, encourage him and stop to thank God for helping him answer in a God-pleasing way. Or talk about his response later in the day, offering encouragement and thanking God for His grace.
  • And don’t forget to set a good example for your child! Pray for the grace to answer him softly when you would rather be impatient and harsh, and show him how to respond graciously by the way you speak to others.


 

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7 Comments

  1. Your blog has been such a blessing to me. My husband and I are believers, but we were not raised in Christian homes, so all that you write about truly helps us in raising our children according to God’s standards. Thank you for your faithfulness!

  2. I agree with Suzy above. Such a blessing. Thank you so much.

  3. Thank you so much for this post, just the words I needed to read today. With 6 children there are some days that I feel like all I do is mediate arguments. I will be putting your advice into practice. Also, I will be sharing this post with our readers. ~Alexis on behalf of everyone at A Moment with MOM

  4. Thanks for sharing such neat suggestions! I need to put some into practice around here!!!!!

  5. Thank you! Thank you for the wisdom and encouragement!

  6. Such a good reminder today, especially since I’ve already started with some particularly harsh words already.

  7. Thank you for this. This is for me…and then for my kids. You are right about having more than one young child in the house…I have 5 that are 6 & under & some days…well, it’s a disaster. I needed to read this…to put it into practice myself and then, I can teach it to my little ones as I master it. Thank you & God bless you for your ministry.