Learning How to Compromise

2017 was the first year I was at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving in six years. My mom asked what I’d like for dessert, and I said pumpkin pie.

It turned out that I’m the only one who likes pumpkin pie. We were having a smaller dinner, so it would just be our immediate family, four people.

A good compromise may have been to still get pie, put a different kind that at least one other person liked.

So what did we end up doing? I got an entire pumpkin pie for myself 🙂

This is NOT a good example of compromise, just an example of Thanksgiving gluttony.

Compromise means to negotiate with someone or come up with a plan to work out a problem. When you compromise, everyone gives up something to come to an agreement. No one gets exactly what they want – each person gives up something, but also gets something they want.

Learning how to compromise is a critical component of successful cooperation. Fostering this skill in your students will help them learn to mediate disagreements among themselves.

As a teacher, rather than compromising, many of my students wanted me to act as a sort of judge, ruling on the side of either party.

“Ms. Woods, can you tell Zoey it’s my turn to use the iPad?”
“Olivia always gets to pick the game! Can you tell her I get to pick today?”

In this activity, students will read situations in which two people want two different things. Students must come up with a compromise in which each person gets at least something that they want.

Download the activity here.