Q&A: What is the best advice to stop siblings from fighting?
Great question, Heather!
I think every parent is challenged in this area. It always motivated me to realize that the home is the “safe place” God intended kids to learn the basic skills of social interaction, obedience, honesty, and working out challenges together. If they don’t learn them with their family, chances are their future is very limited and disappointing to them and to everyone involved For example, their boss will simply fire them, the spouse will leave them, etc. Thank God He put us all in families where we can learn the big stuff without losing our name and family position!
Obviously, it’s a learning process, and takes time. Letting your kids know it is everyone’s job to keep your home fun, happy, loving, and safe will create a team perspective. But, stay in control! You are the adult. If kids are out of control, it’s not their fault. It’s a challenge for everyone, but you really are equipped to lead your family!
These 4 Strategies helped our family:
- CLEAR GUIDELINES OF ACTIONS
- SILENCING THE NEGATIVE TALK
- CONSISTENT & CLEAR CONSEQUENCES
- PARENT’S WORDS & ATTITUDE STAYING POSITIVE
#1) CLEAR GUIDELINES OF ACTIONS
- We don’t t say things to make anyone feel bad, mad or jealous. PERIOD
- We share.
- We try to give each other space when they want it and not interrupt their play.
- We don’t embarrass each other, especially in front of their friends!
- WE TAKE TURNS BEING FIRST OR CHOOSING THE GAME OR MOVIE.
- This is big! Having a strategy and plan in place is key, or the strong willed child will try to take lead every time.
- We don’t grab things out of people’s hands, but we also do not touch other people’s toys, food, etc., without asking. I CALL THESE “THE TWIN NO NO’s” (because one leads to other; they come together!).
#2) SILENCING THE NEGATIVE TALK
Short & simple: it’s hard to fight when silence is enforced. If kids know mom does not allow screaming, fighting, bickering or name calling, and that she will make everyone stop and be still & quiet for 10 minutes…. they will stop fighting every other second! DON’T ALLOW IT MOM.
#3) CONSISTENT & CLEAR CONSEQUENCES
Bottom line: your consequences must be unpleasant enough that your child will stop making the wrong choices because they want to avoid the consequences.
Kids in general want to be active, do their favorite games, and be free to do what they are interested in at the time. Stop their choices and you get their attention. Use your clout! They may not WANT to make the right choice, but they will if motivated by positive results and negative, effective consequences.
#4) PARENTS’ WORDS & ACTIONS STAYING POSITIVE
Every parent has at times become exasperated, overly angry, overwhelmed and hopeless. These feelings are miserable. But, if we learn to quickly “let it go” for what it is.. a passing moment, not a state of being… then we can get up, and move forward (or at least know we can do better the next day!). Most of all, we must realize our kids are going to grow up into obedient and loving adults!
Don’t give up, on yourself or them!!!
Having said all of that, we must be honest with ourselves in the area of our words and attitudes!
LISTEN TO YOUR WORDS, THE TONE OF YOUR VOICE AND THE FEELING YOU ARE IMPARTING TO YOUR KIDS. Stay fun, keep it real and keep “labeling” your family and kids with positive words! “I love our happy home!” “We are really learning to have fun together! Way to go!”
Consistently talking with your children and “breaking it down” for them in simple steps and guidelines is crucial! “Coach them up”! Focus on and celebrate the good choices they make!
And when the kids’ frustrations, disagreements and negative words happen… give them a chance to self-correct and if not, slow things down and take control!! Stay strong and stay happy!!
NOTE: Check out the previous question from Brittany about “the dreaded attitude and back talk”.
Thank you for your question. Remember, NEVER GIVE UP!