As humans, inter-personal conflict is inevitable. However, in our schools, if not dealt with properly, conflict often turns into bullying or isolation. Learning how to resolve conflict is essential to building strong friendships and resiliency to face other challenges in life, but, not all children learn healthy ways to deal with conflict.
For some children, conflict is a common occurrence in their home life and for others, they don’t have a trusted adult to teach and role model healthy behaviours. Often children don’t feel comfortable confiding in their teacher or parent. Mentors in the Go Girls! program build trust with participants and give them a safe place to express their thoughts and emotions.
Middle school students, Malina and Ruby, were two girls experiencing conflicts with friends.
“The biggest struggle with me,” said Malina, “is getting into arguments with my friends and then somebody takes it the wrong way. Or, if you and your friend are arguing and your friend just ignores you. Go Girls! has helped me learn what to do in that situation.”
Ruby was facing similar struggles.
“One of my biggest struggles is… not yelling at everybody and getting really mad over things because I do tend to get stressed out and sad a lot,” she said. “I definitely learned that using your voice is a good thing.”
Through participating in the Go Girls! program, the two learned positive ways to overcome conflict and self-soothe when situations get stressful.
“Go Girls! helps you with life experience and it’s also a good opportunity,” said Malina. “Most people are just on their phones all day and they get into arguments. Going to Go Girls! helps you get out of all the arguments.”
“Go Girls! gives you a lot more knowledge about how to deal with certain situations and a lot of life lessons,” said Ruby. “It makes you be part of a circle that you know you can tell people something and they won’t go blabbing to everybody. It makes you feel a part of something.”
The biggest takeaway though? Be kind.
“I learned that no matter how mad you are at somebody; you should always be kind,” said Ruby. “No matter how mean people are being to you, as long as you go home at the end of the day just knowing that you’ve been kind to somebody is all that really matters.”