Today we are sharing a post from our friends over at Parkland Elementary School. Last school year they compiled a charter written by their grade 5 students about how to treat each other with respect and kindness at school. We really like this document because it not only describes what is involved in being an active part of a community but it also emphasizes the use of I Statements when faced with difficult situations.
The use of “I Statements” is a strategy that can be used to resolve conflict for any age group, including adults! The idea of the I statement is to respectfully stand up for yourself, while still managing to not be accusatory to other individuals. The “I Statement” is not meant to take the onus off of others for their actions but rather to let people know how certain behaviours or relationship dynamics are making you feel.
“I Statements” are a great strategy to teach your child for working through conflicts on their own, at school, with siblings, and even with you.
Here is the basic structure of the “I Statement”:
“I feel _______________ (name of feeling) when __________________ (situation that is causing distress) and I would like _________________ (say what you would like to happen instead)”
Practice using “I Statements” to communicate in your family.
The second reason we are sharing this document is that the children at Parkland Elementary contributed to creating it themselves. We think this is fantastic to do at the beginning and even throughout the school year. At Parkland Players we also set our classroom expectations together in the first couple weeks of September.
Check out their charter here: http://www.sd43.bc.ca/school/parkland/Documents/School%20Charter%20with%20i-statement%20page.pdf