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Conflict Resolution Tips and Blog

Moms walk out of “Bad Moms” movie in Fort Myers: The Conflict Closer Weighs In

Personally when I see parents with a baby or a young child under 5 walk in to an R rated movie, I buckle up for a bad ride. I have experienced enough night outs ruined by a crying child that does not get taken out fast enough because the parent is also trying to have a night out and doesn’t want to miss “the good part.”

I cannot even imagine the horror I would experience seeing a group of babies being brought into an R rated movie that I paid way too much for, but was determined to enjoy. I would however try to view it as a well deserved night out to see a movie that in watching the trailers looks like a letting loose of all the good mommy rules that many of us secretly long to push back against daily.


I can relate.

But here’s the thing, it doesn’t sound like the people who might have felt like me ever got a chance to weigh in on this one. It was the movie theater management that made the decision to put these mommies on a “time out” by literally putting them out of the theater.

The Conflict Closer’s Take On This

Management has a right to make decisions that best serve their theater. In doing that, managers need to use their skills of listening, discernment and problem-solving, setting aside bias and preconceived notions. This was a group that was here to enjoy a movie that they could seriously relate to and enjoy together. This was a group that had collectively brought in a substantial amount of revenue for this theatre and this was a group that was willing to talk this out.

Missed Opportunity For A Win-Win

In a dark theatre sitting with a group of other mothers, two moms breastfeeding should cause no concern about who was or was not covering up so that would not have been an issue. The two moms we are talking about had an infant and a 7 month old.

Letting the moms know about the policy and acknowledging that they clearly were unaware would have let the group know that the manager appreciated their business and was not interested in shaming them. Throw in the fact that it is World Breastfeeding Week and the insult is felt even deeper. This manager could have acknowledged that in understanding their desire to bring their infants with them.

Thanking them for their business and laying out the concerns that all customers have a pleasant movie viewing experience would have assured them that you were working to make sure that everyone’s concerns were being heard.

Choosing to find a way to keep their business knowing that they might just come back again should have been a priority over the clear bias of breastfeeding moms. It was other parents who were not a part of their group who brought the 3 and 5 year old to this movie. Which is where the policy needed to be evenly applied again without shaming anyone. Yes, the policy is no children under 6 but my experience is that in so many theaters many policies do not get enforced and in this case I am not certain how or if it was being applied to the 3 and 5 year old. I have been to Regal Theaters where very young children were brought in to R rated movies with no one asking them to leave. So even hearing that the policy was being enforced may have come as a surprise. For this group explaining the need to apply the policy to everyone even infants could have been used as a way to get their cooperation in making sure all customers had a good time. It is not the enforcement of the policy here that is the problem , it is how you do it and how you make people feel when you do it.


Guaranteed everyone in that particular movie expected to have a let your hair down, raucous good time. This movie clearly resonated with a lot of moms who felt like they just needed a night out. Hell, I want to go see it and these kind of movies are not my cup of tea. To be frank many babies are exposed to family events that have raunchy language, drinking and sometimes poor behavior and still people are having a good time. My family events were certainly not immune to that, so judging these moms is not my call nor was it the manager’s role.

This was a missed opportunity for a win-win. Get them onboard with the need to apply the policy to everyone, give them a refund and a couple of passes for another movie with an invite to come back again to a G-movie where the babies will be welcome.

In my view, instead of seeing Bad Moms, those mothers got to see a Bad Man-ager.

lynne-maureen-hurdle-the-conflict-closerLynne Maureen Hurdle is The Conflict Closer.

She gives daily parenting tips on her Facbeook page and is committed to teaching people to resolve conflict one meaningful response at a time.

You can also check out her blog, From Where I Sit:Conflict Resolution Strategies For Every Day Life at

Lynne Maureen Hurdle, Conflict Resolution Specialist

Daily News Article “Mommy Help Me.” My Response: How to Beat Your Kids Without Putting Your Hands On Them

According to a N.Y. Daily News article, a five year old boy “tried to punch another kid and wound up spitting on a classmate.” His mother was told by school administrators he would either take a paddling or get suspended. The Mom secretly recorded the paddling and posted to social media, warning to schools the new style media is always watching. School district officials in Georgia where this took place are investigating but did want folks to know that “corporal punishment” is allowed in the district. Sounds like some “Old School” rules that folks in schools can fall back on if they want to. As a Mom who parents “new school with an old school chaser,” I know that changing the way you discipline takes more than just the notion of doing things differently, it takes hard work and skills.
We are naturally inclined to do what was done to us especially during times of stress, because truthfully it’s the thing that is most accessible. When children do things that we have taken on as stressful or unacceptable whether we want to or not in that moment, we most often become our parents or whoever the authority figures were in our lives. In order to change, we have to see it coming and prepare ourselves to respond consciously.
We have to learn how to B.E.A.T. our kids.
One of the most underrated things on the planet is the power of breathing correctly. We have all heard about taking a breath when we are angry but that is less about the power of the breath and more about stopping for a minute which is also important. The administrators in this situation needed to give themselves time to process their own feelings in order to be fully present enough to take the right next step. Breathing correctly has the power to really shift the situation you are dealing with.
First, you need to focus on your breathing, be aware of whether it is fast or slow or even.

Be aware but do not judge, just notice it first.


Our breath is constant which means unless we are dead we are always breathing. So it is the perfect thing to focus on because we can always find it. The very fact that we are choosing to focus on it brings us into the present. We need to take five second belly breaths in and out for five seconds to release the stress.
When we operate out of what we think we know, we don’t listen past what we want to respond to or want to shut down. If we take the time to commit to examine what has happened and what the child is saying to us, we can ask questions that help us understand their thinking, their reasoning (even if we think there couldn’t possibly be any good reason for what they did) and ask their ideas for correcting the situation. Even as a five year old, this child could have benefitted from this approach. Having his mother be a part of this discussion could have modeled for her skills that she can use at home.

One major purpose for examining things is to discover what is leading you.


Is it fear or rules that were good enough for your school administrators or your parents and your culture so they are good enough for your children? Or is it that you are just plain tired or fed-up? Thinking that, “I don’t need a reason because I’m the adult in the situation” is not going to work enough times to establish a connection where the child views you as someone they can talk to and learn conflict resolution skills from.
What you are going for is accessing conscious choice and not reacting in the moment from a place that is not honoring your desire to make the best choice you can in this situation. Do you have other tools alongside the old school ways? Do the old school ways make sense here or is it just fear, anger, a power move and a need to reach for what’s been comfortable for you and the culture? You should decide that from a conscious place.
What skills did those administrators have access to that could let that child see that conflict and responding well to it is a part of growing up and learning?

In moments like this, as parents and adults in authority, we need to ask ourselves what skills can we access that allow for some sharing on our part of experience, mistakes we’ve made and the desire to talk this through?


What will you model for your child that you want them to use in the future?
The next step is to try something. What conflict resolution skills do these administrators have that would have allowed this child to think about how he reacted and what lessons are important to learn from this experience?

Once this was done, they could have thought clearly about what consequences were necessary and how they could help this child learn new ways to handle future conflicts.


The truth is discipline can be about doing it the way that it has always been done because it is easier to shut it down than to hear about every situation. Believe me, there are days when I feel like I just don’t have the energy to go new school, but most days I do.
I wish the administrators and the Mom had known how to B.E.A.T. this child.
LHP 17-74pxLynne Maureen Hurdle is the Conflict Closer, facilitator, speaker, coach, wife and mom who blends the connection between conflict and culture into her unique style of engagement. At the age of 17, she experienced a racial bias incident where she was able to escape with her life and limbs intact. She also came away with a clear knowing that somehow she had to be able to do the work of connecting people around these issues and find ways to help resolve them.


Katt Williams Sucker Punch: He Shoulda Had The SMACK Down

The latest episode in the Katt Williams saga is a video tape showing him sucker-punching a teenager and the teenager reacting by wrestling him to the ground and putting him in a chokehold. Since TMZ first promoted the story, there have been longer video versions, an interview with the teen who wrestled him to the ground and endless “tweactions” on Twitter.

At 41, Katt Williams has been around the block a few times and should have known what any ten year old who has seen their fair share of fights knows: he shoulda had the SMACK down. He should have known the things that will lead to a sure ‘nough fight. SMACK. I’m not talking about the usual “talkin’ smack”, the trash talk that we all know is a lead-in to most brawls. I’m talking about the five things that individually have the potential to cause folks to “square up,” but unleash them together and you have a guaranteed throwdown.

He shoulda had this list in the pocket, the brotha shoulda had this down. S.M.A.C.K.


In the longer video version, he was playing soccer with some of the young people in the neighborhood and it got a little heated between himself and the teen that eventually wrestled him to the ground. Even the person recording it can be heard saying, “I’m surprised they ain’t fight nobody.” The guy with the camera phone knew that people getting angry during sports can lead to fights. Katt didn’t know?


Even though mainstream media wasn’t around, everyone’s a cameraman these days. So everyone is media. Any event large, small or insignificant is a cause for pushing play and post.

Katt Williams just showed up in the neighborhood, everybody with a camera phone came running, which means the “media” was present and ready to capture any craziness he was bringing. People trying to “Capture Katt Craziness” could lead to a fight. Katt didn’t know that?


You can hear that Katt is exchanging words with this young man as they walk away from the soccer game together. The young man says that Katt was telling him to hit him and he responded by giving him a chance to square up and go one on one. Both of them were already agitated about whatever went down in the soccer game. So now he was just throwing fuel to the fire. Katt knows how to throw fuel. He didn’t know it could lead to a fight?


In every society on the planet, a crowd means the same thing. There is something to see and if there isn’t anything happening yet then as MJ said, “you wanna be startin’ something.” A crowd started to form as soon as there was the first hint of a fight about to happen and that hint came early in the game. In fact, you can hear the cameraman amping it up when he first spots Katt and the young man leaving the game. So when Katt looked around and saw a crowd surrounding them… are you going to tell me that he didn’t know that there could be a fight?


With a K for Katt who had to know that when you allow yourself to be backed up against a wall by someone who you angered in a sports event, who you are being filmed on everybody’s camera phone with, who you talked trash to and are now center stage in the middle of a crowd with, there is about to be a fight. At that point, everybody in the great state of Georgia knew exactly what was about to take place and so did you, Katt Williams long before you threw that punch.

As an adult, the responsibility for resolving this conflict peacefully was on Katt. The warning signs were there. The opportunity to de-escalate where it began, at the end of the soccer game was real and available. Imagine the example he could have been to this young man if he had given him the opportunity to witness a celebrity who understood the tough choices he faces as a teen when things get heated but chose to use skills to resolve the conflict without throwing hands.

The choices that were made indicate that Katt Williams needs to get his S.M.A.C.K. down and learn what “my Momma an’ them” used to say.

“Don’t start none, won’t be none!”