10/13/2017 10:53 EDT | Updated 10/13/2017 10:53 EDT

How To De-Escalate A Fight With Your Kid: Flip The Switch

Don't get defensive (even if you're right).

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Try not to get your back up when your kids complain.

"You never take my side!"

We've all been there. Your kid comes to you to complain about some grand injustice, and you automatically respond defensively, with something along the lines of "That isn't true! I let you drink out of the blue cup just yesterday!" (And then your kid didn't even want the blue cup, right? They wanted the orange cup. Kids.)

But that knee-jerk defensive reaction essentially telling your kids "my perspective is right and yours is wrong" only makes the fight worse.

In this edition of Flip The Switch, parenting expert Alyson Schafer has a quick way to de-escalate fights with your kids. Watch the video below for her advice.

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Instead of defending your position, try giving a listening response, Schafer says. You want to show the child that you understand their perspective.

"So, you're saying you feel like I never let you use the blue cup, even though you say it's your favourite? I would be frustrated if I thought that, too."

Be their ally, not their enemy, Schafer says. Once they feel that you're on their side, they'll stop attacking you and you can move the conversation forward to problem solving. And this kind of anger-management is an important skill that can't be taught too early.

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