Parenting is really hard and it can get frustrating when your kids are constantly fighting. It can make you feel as though you have failed as a parent. While sibling fights are pretty normal, it can sometimes get out of hand. When it does, they need help to settle their differences before someone gets hurt. We have gathered a few ideas on how to help stop kids from fighting.
Let the kids work it out
As adults or kids, people will always disagree . We like and want different things, so being on the same page is not always possible. This applies to your children as well. They are individuals before they are siblings.
When children have a disagreement, don’t rush to jump in to help them every time. This could be an opportunity for them to practice conflict resolution. Teach them how to communicate their differences amicably. Only allow yourself to step in when there is potential of great damage or physical harm.
Give individual attention equally
As they grow up, kids get jealous very easily. It is important that they don’t feel left out. Try your best to give them each child one-on-one attention. Make them feel loved and valued equally. Avoid making them feel as though they need to compete for your attention.
A good idea can be routines based on each child’s interests. For example, if you have two children, you could spend time baking with one of the kids, and sewing with the other. This is an opportunity to both spend time individually and teach other skills.
Assign joint responsibility
When it comes to stopping kids from fighting, it also helps to be proactive. You don’t always have to wait for a fight to break out to teach them they are important to each other. You can set up their daily lives to include teamwork. This way, they develop an understanding and mutual respect for each other.
You can assign them chores they need to do together and communicate well in order to complete. You can make them carry a bucket together to water the plants. Or, you can have one of them hold a dustpan while the other sweeps their room.
Be a good example
Parents are super-heros to their children. That is why it is important to be mindful of your actions around kids. They quietly look to you for cues on how to handle situations, and mimic your reactions as they face similar tests.
Always treat everyone with respect, especially your children. If you are unhappy with the service you get at a store or the gas station, always try to resolve the issue without yelling. Improving your own conflict resolution skills will ensure your kids have a good reference to follow when they get into fights themselves.
Never take sides
When breaking up a fight or mediating an argument, it is important to stay impartial. Always allow yourself to listen to both sides of the story. It is important to stay calm and avoid having an emotional reaction when one of your kids comes telling on the other. When there is a need to intervene, treat them equally.
Avoid giving a verdict. Instead, coach them on how to communicate effectively and settle their differences. Teach them to negotiate. Instead of asking who is wrong and looking to pin the blame, ask questions like, “what should we do to solve the problem?”. Then step out of the negotiation so you are not pulled in to the confrontation.
The special bond between siblings is one of the strongest and most genuine bonds children can have. Use these tips to help your kids deal with sibling fights.
Early Childhood University has amazing teachers who are well trained on how to stop kids from fighting. Schedule a tour to see our teachers in action.