Top Ten Ways to Keep Your Kids from Fighting
by Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC
Description: Tips to help keep your kids from fighting.
Fighting among siblings is as natural as the changing
of the seasons. And contrary to what many parents
believe, sibling rivalry is a sign of mental health in a
family. While there may be times when it's difficult to
deal with, there are some simple things you can do to
limit fighting and make it tolerable:
1. Ignore their fighting
Fighting is often a way for kids to get you to
notice them. If you ignore their fighting (unless
weapons are involved) there will be less incentive
for them to do it.
2. Treat your kids the same when it comes to
If you get into who started things, you may be
training your kids to be victims and bullies. Put
them in the same boat and don't take sides.
3. Give your kids positive reinforcement when
Let them know that they're doing a wonderful job
when they get along. This one's easy to forget, but
vitally important. Give them attention when
they're behaving the way you want. Continually telling
them to stop may actually be creating more fighting!
4. Limit your own fighting and arguing.
Your kids will learn how to be peaceful from you.
Don't expect them to do it well if you don't show
5. Create an environment of cooperation.
Do projects together as a family that involve
cooperation. Talk about how important it is for
the family to cooperate. Avoid games or activities
that promote fighting or excessive competition in
6. Train your kids in peacemaking when they're
away from conflict.
Talk to your kids about fighting at a time when
they're relaxed and open. Ask them about what
other options they might have taken, rather than to
hit their sister. Help them to brainstorm better
7. Avoid punishing your kids in general.
Punishing kids usually just creates angry kids who
are more likely to fight. While some consequences are
inevitable, do your best to give choices and alternatives.
Punishment may bring short term solutions, but will also
bring long term problems.
8. Control how you react to their fighting.
When you must intervene, make sure you stay calm.
If you're angry and shaming, you actually make it
more likely that fighting will occur again.
9. Limit the number of fighting opportunities you
give your kids.
Think about what has the potential to start fights.
Don't buy a red ball and a blue ball, this can easily
result in a fight by your kids. Buy two red balls-no
fight. Be familiar with the times in which fighting
occurs the most-when they're hungry or tired.
Take precautions, like having dinner ready before
the "bewitching hour" occurs.
10. Love your kids for all they're worth
Every day, tell them you love them, and more
importantly, show them. Kids who feel emotionally
connected to their parents are the least likely to fight.
This won't eliminate it, but the alternative isn't pretty
Mark Brandenburg MA, CPCC, coaches busy parents by
phone to balance their life and improve their family
relationships. For a FREE twenty minute sample session
by phone; a FREE ecourse, ebooks, courses, articles, and a
FREE newsletter, go to http://www.markbrandenburg.com
or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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