It’s inevitable to have a little sibling conflict. In fact, I get concerned during the times my kids are getting along. Are they plotting against me? What am I in for? Kidding… kind of… So how do you stop your kids from fighting? Breezy Mama has 5 tips to add some peace back into your household.
1. Find out the true cause.
Sure, he’s being mean to his sister, but instead of quickly coming to her defense, find out why. And this doesn’t mean discover if SHE took the toy from him first, but what is truly behind their sibling fights. Ask YOU if both have been getting equal attention or if it’s time to shift things around a bit. If one child is feeling a bit neglected, their frustration is likely going to be taken out on the kid who is getting more attention.
2. Go on regular dates.
Speaking of point 1, when you notice an imbalance in attention, it’s nice to get away with just one of the kids for a date. “It is important for everyone to have one on one time with each other,” Noni Levi, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, advised Breezy Mama on creating healthy bonds. “Parents need to have a date nights, children need time with mom or dad. You may not have as much time as in the past but still make an effort to have alone time. Even ten minutes to read a book, have a foot rub or play a quick game can fit into most people’s busy schedules.”
3. Give them space.
If two people are spending TOO much time together, conflict is bound to arise. Schedule play dates, sporting events, etc. just to give the two a break from one another. I always laugh that during their time apart, my kids all miss each other!
4. Separate them.
Parents don’t always have the energy to be on the “go”, so when the kids are home and not getting along, send them to separate rooms. Oddly, threatening to keep them apart, sometimes encourages them to get along! If that doesn’t work, however, be sure to follow Dr. Fran Walfish’s advice she told Breezy Mama on sibling fighting, “Try not to make it a punishment like Time Out. This usually is ineffective and only negatively impacts your child’s self-esteem. Rather, call it a cool down or chill.”
5. Remove the object.
If your kids are fighting over the computer or the [fill in the blank] toy, encourage them to work it out or offer to remove the object. Knowing the computer might disappear for a week is a sure fire way to encourage your kids to find their own solutions for getting along! And if all else fails, taking the object away will bring you back some peace!
For more ways on How Can I Get My Kids to Stop Fighting, watch Breezy Mama’s appearance with Family Medicine Specialist Dr. Melinda Silva and Clinical Psychologist Rachel Goldenhar on Fox 5 San Diego this morning on the video below. PLUS! We discuss the effects of red dye and yellow dye on kid’s behavior and guidelines for tablets, iPhones, computers, etc. Watch here: