What is restorative justice?

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Balla, László -- sociologist, researcher


For some reason we are more inclined to notice, when kids are using conflict resolution methods than when it happens within our environment, although kids mostly copying or mocking these adult “games”. 
Even though I try to use the principles of restorative justice in everyday life these are much harder to implement, show or explain to children that is why I picked a story that is related to kids.
One of my sisters has three small daughters they are very fond of each other and rely on each other. They tend to do everything together as much as possible but they also pay attention to each other. Sentences like this are quite common: “I really love Mimi but she is having a rough day…” – a statement coming from one of the girls about her younger sibling.
They spent a year in the US due to their father’s work and attended an alternative institution for this period. In this kindergarten the teachers tried to introduce conflict resolution methods into the kids life. After they returned to Hungary they started to go back to their old institutions. Once the two younger girls got into a fight and the older tried to make them sit down (at that point into the bath as it was during their bath time) by asking “now try to relax and tell me how do you feel and what is going on inside you…” the mediation was successful, the sisters reconciled but the story still revolves around in the family as an example.