Social Problem-solving Skills

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Arguing constructively

  • Young people need to develop the ability to argue constructively.
  • Part of arguing constructively is knowing how to keep a problem in perspective and using language, which highlights how the young person feels.
  • “You made this happen” or “it’s your fault!” examples of not fighting constructively.


Negotiation and compromise

  • As young people experiment with life’s experiences, situations arise which call for negotiation and compromise.
  • In order to discuss and decide on the rules and compromises to be used within a household, skills like staying calm, presenting facts and feelings logically and attempting to see everyone’s opinions from different perspectives, need to be used.
  • An example of a compromise is a young person undertaking a part-time job if they intend to leave school early.
  • Negotiation and compromise with peers also needs to be established within young people, simple things such as picking a movie needs these skills.


Conflict resolution

  • At times the above negotiation and compromise fail.
  • Skills involving conflict resolution are then needed.
  • Resolving conflict involves mature approaches to the problem.
  • Conflicts can often be quickly resolved by talking through the issue in an open and non-judgmental manner.
  • As always, trying to resolve means looking at it fairly and respecting the other person’s opinions.
  • The problem will not be easily fixed if both people avoid it; this will only cause more distress.


Being empathic

  • Empathy is an appreciative perception or understanding.
  • Being empathetic involves mentally trying to ‘feel’ the situation of others as they feel it.
  • This might be listening to a young friend while they share their experiences or problems.
  • Mentally placing ourselves in the situation, helps us to perceive that persons understanding of the situation.

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