Shut It Down: Conflict Resolution Lessons from a 5-Year-Old

A little girl, dressed in purple from head (lavender-coloured toque) to toe (bright purple sparkly Uggs-type boots), stands at the bottom of a set of subway stairs, clutching her father’s hand. She looks around at the other people waiting for the next train. It’s a busy morning commute.

Dad: Sweetie, can we talk about what happened this morning?

My interest was piqued. What did this child do?

Girl: Daddy, I want to give you a hug.

She throws her arms around his leg and buries her face in his pant leg.

Dad: Thank you, that was very nice. But I want to talk about what happened. I think you should apologize.

He kneels down to look her in the eye. She looks back at him and plants a big wet kiss on his cheek.

Dad: Thank you, sweetie. But I want you to apologize for —

The station announcement crackles. Though she probably can’t understand the gargled message that an uptown local is entering the station, this little girl seizes the moment to deflect attention.

Girl: Daddy! The train is coming!

He stands up. She tugs him backwards.

Girl: Don’t step over the yellow line!!!

Dad: Ok, sweetie.

The train arrives but, too crowded, the father and daughter wait for the next train. The father crouches down to look his daughter eye-to-eye.

Daddy: Sweetie, do you want to apologize for what happened this morning?

Girl: Daddy, I was going to tell you at school.

::drops mic::

This baby is about to drop that mic

Probable Epilogue: The daughter never apologized for throwing her Cheerios on the floor, and the father was too embarrassed to bring it up again.

Argument status: SHUT DOWN.

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