Teaching Conflict Resolution Doesn’t Have to be Complicated

Kermit is a natural leader in his class, and all of the kids want to be his friend.

During our weekly class game time, I taught Kermit’s class how to play a game called Roshambo Red Light Green Light that combines the best of two Playworks favorites. The kids loved playing the game and cheering on their classmates. I later explained how to use Roshambo (also known as rock, paper, scissors) to resolve conflicts; it’s a game of chance that gives kids a quick and fun way to solve disagreements on their own.

In Kindergarten at Kermit’s school, the biggest conflict is sharing the swings and letting every kid get a turn. One day during recess, Kermit cames running up and said, “Coach D, Jackson and I got to the swings the same time and he took it from me.”

Before I could even offer a suggestion, Kermit smacked his forehead and said, “Shoot, I should have used Roshambo to decide who gets the swing.”

I was so impressed he remembered this useful tool, and I gave him a high-five. I walked over to the swings with Kermit and watched him ask Jackson to play Roshambo. Although Kermit ended up losing, he didn’t complain. Instead, he said, “That’s ok I can wait three minutes for the swing.” I felt so much pride and happiness that what I was teaching in class game time translated into recess, and that I am making an impact on these kids lives.

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