Coping With Conflict During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Lockdown

This article comes from the Young Scot website and is brought to you in partnership with the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution. You can download the original article here https://young.scot/get-informed/national/coping-with-conflict-during-covid-19-lockdown

The article was written specifically for teenagers but there are useful ideas in it for all of us who are finding that tensions and tempers can rise when we are all home for such an extended period of time.

When you’re spending more time with the people you stay with to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) it may mean you get into more arguments or conflicts with those around you. Here’s how to resolve any conflicts that do happen.

What causes conflict?

Conflict usually starts when you disagree with somebody about something, or you don’t like how someone has reacted to something.

Conflicts tend to come from two main causes:

  • misperception, where you believe something to be true without any factual proof. For example, you might believe your sibling didn’t do the dishes because they’re being lazy and wanted you to clean up after them, but you don’t have any proof of this.
  • misinformation, which is fake news meant to deceive you. For example, somebody may text you saying that a friend was gossiping about you behind your back, when in fact this didn’t actually happen and was made up to start some drama.

By understanding what starts conflict, it can help us resolve it!

I’m upset by something someone has said/done. How should I react?

You should think about a few different things about reacting, including:

  • where you are (at home, at the shops, out walking the dog)
  • who is involved (parents/carers, siblings, police officer, a stranger)
  • whether you have all the facts (is this a misperception or have you been given misinformation?)
  • your emotions (are you in a good place to respond?)
  • the consequences… (what happens if you react the way you want to?)

This can be difficult because emotions can rise quickly! But by taking a minute to think through these things, we can react in a more thought out way and not let things escalate or get worse.

What’s a better way to react?

Be calm and be brave. It’s courageous to stand up to conflict and deal with it responsibly.

Be curious, not furious. Find out the facts and make sure you aren’t being misinformed. Don’t be too quick to judge or misperceive something.

It’s also important to acknowledge your part in the conflict too: one person can’t just fight on their own!

By controlling your emotions and communicating calmly you can resolve the conflict in a better way.

For example, you could say something like “I’m not spoiling my life because you want a fight, let me find out what is going on then I will come speak to you about it like an adult.”

It’s difficult to manage my emotions sometimes

Emotions can be powerful! But it can be really useful to know how they work so we know how we can manage them. Head to the Scottish Centre of Conflict Resolution to find out what’s going on in your brain when you feel angry, sad, happy and everything in-between.

Another way you can keep your feelings in check is by figuring out what pushes your emotional buttons. These are things that, when they’re triggered, make you feel irritated, frustrated and angry. This could be things like feeling your personal space is being invaded (your parents or sibling comes into your room without asking or knocking) or you feel like there’s been some sort of injustice (your get told off for something your sibling has done). By knowing what things upset you and why, you can better manage how you react to it.

I feel like I’m struggling to manage them

When you’re feeling overwhelmed and your emotions seem too big to tackle it’s a good idea to talk to someone and ask for help.

It can be scary to ask for help. You might feel like asking for help makes you weak, when in fact the opposite is true! It’s very brave to ask for help and support when you need it – and everybody, even the most powerful people in the world, ask for help every day.

It’s important to ask for help when you start to feel you cannot cope, or feeling overwhelmed, stressed or just curious about what kind of help you would get.

You can ask anyone you trust, what you need to do is think about who they are and how they could support you. Your doctor, social worker, or support worker and other professionals that work with young people and families can help you.

More information

Learn more about managing conflicts over at the Scottish Centre for Conflict Resolution website.

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Infant Mental Health Awareness Week runs from June 13th-19th.           

This week provides an opportunity to focus attention on the wellbeing, social and emotional development of our babies and young children. It highlights the importance of early relationships and a relationship based approach to interventions with infants and families. As our understanding of IMH and its evidence base develops, so also does our knowledge of how to apply this knowledge and an ‘IMH lens’ to interactions with infants, parents and caregivers in health and social services. 

What is infant mental health?

Infant Mental health (IMH) refers to the healthy social and emotional development of Infants starting at conception up to three years of age.

The first 1000 days of life are recognised as a critical period of opportunity to support infant mental health. Decades of research have shown that it is the quality of the early caregiver relationship that is a significant determinant of the infant’s healthy social and emotional development and in turn physical health, right up to adulthood.

 

The National Healthy Childhood Programme has embedded IMH as the foundation of the development of its resources and in the approach of the delivery of the universal child health service. This embedding of key messages can be seen in the My Child suite of books (www.mychild.ie/books) and also on www.MyChild.ie  where key messages around bonding and relationship building have been embedded for the parent/caregiver.

 

In clinical practice the topic of IMH has been included for the first time in the National Standardised Child Health Record. To build on this, the National Healthy Childhood Programme have just completed a suite of three eLearning units which are now available on HSEland for healthcare practitioners / caregivers who are working with children and families.  

 

Throughout the week you will see videos and key IMH messaging being promoted on the HSE MyChild social media pages ( Facebook / Instagram ). Keep an eye out in the National Newspapers for articles from our experts also. (IrishTimes article)  

 

In addition The National Healthy Childhood Programme have developed a series of ten practical videos with HSE expert advice which are now available on YouTube and on the relevant pages on the www.mychild.ie website.

These videos (2-3 minutes each) are aimed at parents/guardians of children (0 – 3 years).

These new video resources are available here while lots more expert advice for every step of pregnancy, baby and toddler health can also be found at www.mychild.ie

There are a suite of posters available focusing on the promotion of IMH messaging to order from healthy.childhood@hse.ie

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