Are you sick and tired of your kids fighting all the time? It is possible to end that sibling fighting and help them get along!
Why Do Siblings Fight So Much?
Siblings fight for all sorts of reasons.
Kids in different age groups tend to fight because they are developing differently from each other. So they have a hard time relating to each other.
Some siblings fight because they have different temperaments. A mild-tempered child put together with a strong-willed child will often be a recipe for constant sibling fighting.
Developmental age plays a part in sibling fights as well. At certain ages, you have no ability to see things from another perspective or understand what another person is going through. This ego-centric behavior can cause a lot of fights between kids.
Behaviors modeled by adults are another reason kids fight so much. If mom and dad are constantly arguing, screaming, fighting, throwing things, or just being unkind to each other… it’s common sense that siblings will think this is a normal way to communicate.
Is It Normal For Siblings To Fight All The Time?
In short, yes it is.
Siblings are the only people in the world that have to really be stuck with each other night and day for years on end and have no choice in it.
As adults, we can choose our spouse, our friends, and mostly our coworkers. But kids don’t have that same choice.
So when you stick children of different ages with different personalities together during their developing years, you are going to have kids that fight.
And while there may not be an end to sibling fighting, there are several ways you can reduce it and help your kids get along better.
And believe it or not, sibling fighting is normal for their social development.
How To Stop Sibling Fighting
“Why can’t you guys just get along?!?!”
If you have uttered this phrase more times than you can count… you are not alone!
The biggest complaint parents have who have multiple kids is the sibling fighting. You can solve a problem between your kids and they can be right back at it just moments later.
You’ll also find many useful tips to get siblings to stop fighting in Siblings Without Rivalry: How To Help Your Kids Live Together.
1 – Stop Giving Roles
It’s common that we tell older siblings to set an example and we let the little ones have fewer rules. And the little siblings often feel like they cannot do anything that older siblings didn’t get a chance to do.
It’s natural for kids to want to rebel against these roles given to them that they never asked for. So instead of playing them against each other, let them know they are on equal terms and have equal rules and expectations.
2 – Treat Them as Individuals
Never compare one well behaving child to a misbehaving child.
There could be many reasons why one child is acting up and it may not have anything to do with their sibling. But the fighting comes out that way because kids don’t know how to regulate their emotions.
Keep Reading: 12 Factors That Influence a Childs Bad Behavior
If it seems like one kid is to blame and is causing most of the fighting, take time to figure out why they are acting that way in the first place and correct it.
It could be that they are just hungry or tired.
3 – Distraction Is Key
If you can see a fight coming on, use a distraction. Kids can easily be persuaded to shift their attention from one thing to another.
Not every moment needs to be a teachable moment.
If they are starting to fight or are already in the middle of a fight, get them to focus on something else.
For example: You can see your kids starting to argue over the same toy. You already know this won’t end well. So instead of trying to force them to work it out, point to something exciting out the window (even if nothing is there).
I can’t tell you how many times I would point excitedly out the window and pretend to see the biggest bird ever. And when my kids would come over, I would say “oh darn it just flew away.”
This superfast moment was all they needed to reset themselves and forget about that dumb toy they were fighting over.
4 – Listen To Them
Kids need to be heard. If they think that something is unfair, then take the time to listen to them.
When kids feel like their feelings are not being validated, they tend to act out and misbehave. So if they are already in the middle of a sibling fight, and then you jump in with consequences and don’t even take the time to listen to them. They will just get more and more upset.
Take time to listen to them. Hear them out. Even if they are irrational. Kids need to be heard.
5 – Make Them The Problem Solvers
When you see a fight brewing your natural instinct is the step in and break it up. But if you could teach your kids how to be the problem solver, you might just avoid having to jump into every future fight.
Sit them down together face to face. Let them know that you think they are really great problem solvers and you’ll be back in 2 minutes to hear their solutions.
Either they will come up with a solution all on their own. Or they will end up laughing at each other’s noses and create their own distractions.
6 – Give Them Their Own Space
Put yourself in your kid’s shoes. If they are together every day of their lives, they are going to get sick of each other.
Give them each some space. A place they can go to where they can be alone, or have one on one time with mom.
Most commonly it can be their room. But if your kids share a room, find a safe spot for them to have all on their own. Maybe its a corner of a room you can put a Childs tent in.
A small kids’ tent is the perfect place that can be moved around from room to room but gives your child some privacy and time to themselves.
7 – Praise Positive Behavior
Don’t forget your positive parenting skills! When your kids handle the situation on their own or even calm down without punishment or consequences, take time to raise them.
Keep Reading: How To Use Positive Parenting In Your Everyday Life
If you need more tips similar to Sibling Fighting, keep reading:
- How To Discipline a Child Without Yelling
- How To Deal With Your Bossy Kid
- Why Discipline Is Better Than Punishment
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