18. Speak directly and personally to your child.  Avoid lecturing and stay with concrete specific behavioral detail(s).  (Prov. 18:23)

19. Initiate some type of loving behavior toward the child during the conflict (i.e., holding hands, have the child sit in your lap, take a walk, etc.) (I John 4:18)

20. Put yourself in your child’s shoes.

21. Don’t compare one child to another.  Be aware of each others differences and accept them (lion, otter, beaver, and golden retriever). (Prov. 22:6)

22. Give value and consideration to the interests, goals, and desires of each person. (Prov. 29:7)

23. When you’re wrong admit it.  Accept any blame for the past (Was the rule clearly defined?  Was it written  down?  Was there miscommunication?, etc.).  Identify your own contribution to the problem. (Prov. 28:13; 29:23)

24. Assign responsibility for the future.  Make sure it is written down so the child knows exactly what is expected of him/her.  Then hold the child accountable. (Prov. 22:15; 23:13; 29:15, 17; Heb. 12:9; Prov. 15:31; 1:8; 3:11; 13:1; 13:24; Eph. 6:4)

25. Resolve your conflicts with "Win-Win" solutions.  Both agree with the solution or outcome of the argument.

26. Forgive your child and do not hold resentment.  End a fight with an act of love. (Col. 3:12-13; I Peter 3:8-9)

27. Above all, strive to reflect HONOR in all of your words or actions during a conflict. (Romans 12:10; 2:3)

28. Make conflict resolution a regular habit. (Prov. 13:24)


Michael Smalley and his wife Amy both earned a Master’s Degree in clinical psychology from Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois. For the past ten years they have taught millions of people around the world with entertaining stories and illustrations. Michael is currently the marriage and family director at their hometown church in The Woodlands, TX. Michael and Amy are also starting a new center called The Smalley Marriage and Family Center that will provide local pastoral counseling, special intensive retreats, and training for professionals and lay-people.

Michael and Amy have authored or coauthored relationship advice books like Communicating with Your Teen, the Men’s Relational Toolbox, and Don’t Date Naked.

The Smalley's have three children, Cole, Reagan, and David.  They have been married for 11 years. Visit Michael's blog at www.crashintolove.com.