Sunday, December 22, 2013 The Blue Footed Booby
Conflict is for the birds! Most folks do not like conflict and yet it seems like conflict is the only way for growth to occur. In Mentoring, in families or in any other gathering of more than one person, conflict is normal and necessary. A bird called the blue footed booby has a conflict of a different color.
The booby's conflict is not in the color of its feet. Although the bluer the feet are, the healthier the booby is. The conflict arises from the birth of young boobies. The birds lay eggs one at a time and several days apart. They will incubate the first egg causing it to hatch several days ahead of the other eggs. This gives the young booby who hatches first a head start in the growth process. Because it is stronger and more developed, it may cause harm or death to its younger sibling. Conflict may arise through scarcity of food. Siblicide occurs when the young booby kills its sibling.
The booby parents have a conflict in raising their offspring during sibling conflict. This would be called "parent-offspring conflict." There are several ways in which the booby parents deal with conflict. They will build a steep sided nest that makes it harder for the stronger sibling to throw the weaker member out of the nest. They will also lay a second egg that is heavier than the first. The weight of this heavier booby baby may balance any disadvantages it may have of being lesser developed.
As a Mentor, Teacher or a Parent, you will experience conflict. Preparation for conflict will help determine how much growth will occur from the experience. Some conflict should be avoided which may cause a conflict in itself. There is a key point in the conflict resolution process that is extremely important. Be aware of favoritism as viewed in the eyes of children who are not causing any current conflict. Parental investment seems to intensify during periods of conflict. In a classroom or small group, troublemakers consume energy and attention, pulling emotional resources away from other students. Those neglected students may erroneously view your conflict resolution efforts as favoritism.
Balancing the moods of a group can be exhausting. The best solution to this problem is in having at least 2 Mentors in a group or 2 Parents in a family. When that is not possible, do your best to share some extra time with the child who is not currently causing any conflict. Use your time wisely and reinforce your appreciation for good behavior while not elevating that child in importance. Balance can be a conflict in itself. Find value in the knowledge that you are doing the best you can do in a very challenging situation. The families of blue footed boobies have been solving conflicts for many years and so will you.
Thanks for your time.
Go do something nice for somebody.
Authors Note: Information and pictures for this article were taken from: