Our society has a long way to go in the fight against violence. Violence is being
modeled to youth through television, movies, and the news. When we see a particular way of
behaving over and over, it starts to seem normal.
Changes in family systems result in greater stress on the members in that system.
Sometimes those stresses erupt into violence within the home.
Aggression can result in violence if youth are not able to use problem-solving skills.
Included are skills to express feelings of frustration and/or anger. Parents, childcare
providers and teachers can teach children problem-solving skills by helping them think
- It is important to establish a climate of acceptance. For instance, adults can model
recognition and acceptance of individual differences. Also, adults may appreciate and
support creativity. This encourages children to solve problems in their own unique ways.
- Teach children to recognize the problem. Listen and observe what they are experiencing.
Help them identify the problem.
- Help children think through possible solutions. Praise them for finding new ways of
solving problems. When they pick an alternative, help them find out what is needed. Also,
will they need to ask someone to help?
- Try out the possible solution. If it works, great! If not, try another solution. Even
through it is challenging, allow children to make mistakes.
- Avoid doing anything for children that they can do for themselves. This could be the
hardest job for us.
Source: University of Minnesota
Extension Service, Department of Family Social Science
Sarah Staude, StaudeS@missouri.edu
Regional Specialist, 4-H Youth
Cass County, Missouri
University of Missouri Extension