Social Stories for Kids in Conflict

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Conflict is a normal part of development and relationships, but it is not always easy for kids to handle. This lesson offers social stories oriented toward helping students manage common types of conflict.

Kids in Conflict

As a teacher, you know how frequently kids get into arguments with each other; it is an ordinary aspect of growing up and learning to socialize. Conflict can be particularly challenging for students with special needs that make verbal expression or emotional and physical self regulation more difficult. For these students, it can be really helpful to use social stories, or anecdotes told from the perspective of a hypothetical child who is facing the same difficulties. The social stories in this lesson offer concept development, vocabulary and strategies for coping with conflicts in childhood.

Conflict in the Classroom

In my school, we do many things. Some of the things we do are fun, and some of the things we do are really hard! We study reading, writing, and math every day. We play inside and outside. Lots of times, we play and work with other people. Playing with other people can be fun, and so can working with them. We learn lots of good things from each other. Playing and working with other people can also be hard! Sometimes, we get in fights or arguments. Other people make me angry when they try to tell me what to do, or when they do not do what I want them to. Other people get angry at me sometimes, too! These fights and arguments are called conflicts.

Getting into conflicts at school can feel stressful. My face gets really hot and I feel like I want to punch the other person! I feel like I just want to run away and hide.

Everyone gets into conflicts sometimes. I know that when I am in a conflict with another kid, I have to try extra hard to use words. I take a deep breath and tell myself, 'You can work this out.' I tell the other kid my feelings. Then I try really hard to listen to his feelings, too. I ask myself, 'Why is he feeling this way?'

Sometimes, we can work a conflict out all by ourselves, and that feels really good! Sometimes, we need a grown up to help, and that is okay too. I never give up just because of a conflict. I know that conflicts are part of growing up and learning more exciting things.

Conflict Outside of School

After school, my friends and I have started having play dates. We play at my house, we play outside, and we play at my friends' houses too. Having play dates is fun! It is exciting to play with other kids, and I learn more new games and ideas from playing with them.

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