- Day care experiences and the development of conflict strategies in young children
- Early Child Development and Care
- Volume | Issue number
- 182 | 12
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Research Institute of Child Development and Education (RICDE)
This paper presents a study of learning experiences in peer conflicts among two- and three-year-olds in Dutch daycare centres. Data were collected from individual sampling of 96 children during their free play. As in earlier studies, the results we obtained showed that three-year-olds used fewer unilateral strategies and more bilateral strategies than did two-year-olds. Bilateral strategies increased the likelihood children would play together after the conflict, but decreased the likelihood one of them would win. Unilateral strategies increased the likelihood one of them would win the conflict, but the use of physical force decreased the likelihood they would play together afterwards. Teachers often focused on the (alleged) perpetrator of the conflict and on punishing the use of physical force. But they were seldom focused on helping to reconcile the opponents. This study suggests that the children's interest in peer relationships is a strong incentive to use bilateral strategies. Therefore, teachers should value and support peer relations rather than focusing on the perpetrators.
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