Move forward- don’t focus on the past!

Maybe there was another student or teacher last year that your child was in conflict with, or someone at work or in the community that you had problems with. We are starting a new school year and a new season, and its my hope that everyone can start it with an open mind and an open heart. Let go of past conflicts and start with a clean slate.
In mediation, I encourage parties to focus not on the past, but on the future; what’s going to happen moving forward. Don’t look at how you may have been wronged, but how you can get past the conflict and move on. People that live in the present are generally more satisfied than those that live in the past. Brainstorm ideas so that the same or similar conflicts don’t arise this year. Sometimes it’s as easy as making the other person aware that you were affected by something they did or said; preface it with language like “I feel” or “I think”, not “you always” or “you should”; having a neutral party (i.e. someone with no interest in the conflict) present can help. Other times, the conversation can, and should, be more in depth, in this situation, someone trained in conflict resolution can help guide the conversation in a more productive way; this person could be a mediator, guidance counselor, or maybe even a teacher. As a new school year begins, I encourage you to ask yourself (or have your children ask themselves) “What do I want this new season/school year to look like?” and “What steps can I take to make that happen?”