So apparently, there was a decent-sized fight yesterday at our nearby elementary school. Unfortunately, it involved some of the kids from our after-school program. Worse, they were on opposite sides.

Some of them came to one of our leaders today, however, and said they wanted to talk about it. It was really encouraging, and she sat down with 5 of the girls to try and sort things out. They broke for snack, then 4 of them continued with the other leader and me.

I’m really not sure what came of it, either. We kept trying to move them past the point of laying blame and shouting about who did what, but they wanted to stay on that topic. I can’t say I blame them… it’s so much easier to get caught up in blaming each other, instead of being the mature one and working towards a solution.  Too bad only one of them was willing to take that step.

So, I don’t know what really came of it.  The other leader and I learned a lot about what happened, and it was great experience for us, having not done mediation with anything as serious as our kids coming to blows with each other.  I think some of the things we talked about sunk in for a couple of them, but I can only pray they’ll remember it the next time around.  But how are we supposed to teach these kids a better way to deal with conflict when their entire culture, their friends, probably their parents, and even the security guard as the school is telling them to deal with it by hitting back?

~ by Peter on March 11, 2008.

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