October 17th, 2011
If you have more than one child, chances are they fight.
Well-meaning parents sometimes do more to aggravate the situation rather than help the children come to a solution.
Babysitters.net offers the following “10 Solutions to Constantly Fighting Siblings.” Try these out and see if your kids will keep the fighting to a minimum.
Sibling rivalry has been around since the beginning of time, literally. It can stem from jealousy or even just age difference. It is our responsibility as adults to help kids work through their differences, in a calm and respectful manner. Listed below are ten solutions to constantly fighting siblings.
- Don’t Take Sides. If a child notices an adult taking sides or favoring their sibling, they may start to resent both parties. Remember to be impartial, and look at both sides of the situation.
- Cooperation. Have the kids do activities that require them to work together, rather than against each other. Focus on cooperative games and not competitive ones.
- No Whining. Coach the children, and teach them to use a normal tone of voice when asking for something. If they start to whine, even when talking to a sibling, have them start over and ask again. They are much more likely to share with the other sibling, if their tone of voice is not shrieking or demanding.
- Alone Time. Make sure that each child has an adequate amount of time that they get to spend by themselves. Having a younger sibling that always tags along can get irritating, so make sure that you attempt to provide them time on their own too.
- One-on–One Time. Not only do kids need to have time to themselves, they also need some one-on-one time with their parents and caregivers. Make sure that you are giving each child some undivided attention on a regular basis.
- Negotiate. Negotiating is a valuable skill that will come in handy later in life. Work with the children to learn to share their toys. During the negotiations, have them each express how they feel. This will help the other to see both sides.
- Hold Them Accountable. Avoid letting the “he started it” to set in, and help them to see that it takes two to have an argument. Show them how their actions are not improving the situation.
- Get Them Involved. Start a dialog to help the children see the other person’s point of view. Ask them what they would have done, ask them if what they did was right and ask them how it should have been done differently.
- Role Play. Once they have figured out how the problem should have been handled, have them act it out. After practicing the right way to handle a situation, they will be better equipped if it comes up again.
- Set a Better Example. Take some time to think of how you react to stressful situations. Do you fly off the handle and yell or throw things? If so, how can you expect the children to behave differently? We need to be good role models for kids, and lead by example.
The fact is, siblings will not always get along, and it is the job of their caregivers to help ease them through conflicts. Keep a calm head. Try some of the techniques above, and you will be well on your way to teaching them great conflict resolution skills.
(Article used with permission)