How do I get my kids to stop fighting with each other?

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Deann - posted on 11/05/2008

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I have 3 teenage sons and this has been an issue in our home. I've tried to approach it by teaching them that it was God who structured our family and personalities, so we should not "hate" each other. Also that the home is to be a place of refuge. That, especially as a christian, we have lots of enemies in the world and the home should be one place where we can know that we are loved and encouraged by each other. That as a family that God created, we need to stand up for one another and endure those things in each other that may drive us crazy at times! Now that they are all teens (17, 16, and 14) they sometimes have problems with the "Baby Brother" acting less than mature. I try to encourage them that they were in that boat at some point and just to encourage him to "mature up" during times of foolishness. I've tried to get them to realize that we are all human, make mistakes and have some good points too and to look at each in that manner. For the most part, this has really worked in our home. The boys really love one another, but there is an occasionally impromptu wrestling match! (Watch out moms, once your kids do wrestling in School Sports, they think any floor is a wrestling mat!)

Terri - posted on 11/07/2008

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I really can't stand the bickering and fighting. It sends me up the wall. I only have one, but he plays with my niece often and they get into it. I've gotten this new book which has really helped with that - at least on his end which is the only one I have control over. This is a book about how God created the family and how we're supposed to honor one another. It talks about what honor means and how you can show honor to your parents or siblings (or cousin.) Instead of just getting your child to comply, it deals with the heart and changing their attitude.

You can check it out at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Whining-Co...

Kris - posted on 11/04/2008

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Try changing the rules to throw them off guard. Let the siblings know that they aren't allowed to yell or verbally/physically fight anymore. Instead, they have to either write or draw what they want to 'say' to make them think about their feelings in other ways more

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Terri - posted on 11/07/2008

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I really can't stand the bickering and fighting. It sends me up the wall. I only have one, but he plays with my niece often and they get into it. I've gotten this new book which has really helped with that - at least on his end which is the only one I have control over. This is a book about how God created the family and how we're supposed to honor one another. It talks about what honor means and how you can show honor to your parents or siblings (or cousin.) Instead of just getting your child to comply, it deals with the heart and changing their attitude.

You can check it out at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Goodbye-Whining-Co...

Jeannette - posted on 11/06/2008

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I have enjoyed reading everyones suggestions here. I have a 15 yr old daughter and an 11 1/2 yr old son. They fight all the time. Lately I've told them that if they would just focus on what "they" can do better rather than on what they dont like the other one doing it would help both of them.

[deleted account]

Ignore them! They will NEVER stop fighting. It's how kids learn to deal with other people. Unless they are physically hurting each other, intervening in every altercation will only make you nuts. It works best to address them individually in a one-on-one situation than to try to sort through the details of who-did-what-to-whom-first.



And PRAY!! They'll be alright!

Angel - posted on 11/05/2008

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Ooops forgot to mention.. lol.. I don't think there is a way to "stop" the fighting, just minimizing the number of fights.

Angel - posted on 11/05/2008

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I don't have answers, just opinions! I guess it all depends on how old they are and how far apart in age they are and what the fight is over. If they are still young they are probably still in the teaching stage. If they are older than 8 or 9.. it may be attention they want from a parent.. hoping mom or dad will side with them. If they are older (8/9 to teen years with not to much of an age difference, and they are not going to do any 'real' physical harm to each other) they are probably better off trying to resolve it on their own. (which takes A LOT of patience on our part lol) If they are younger tha 8/9 they may just need some guidence on how to resolve the issues they are having.

Amber - posted on 11/05/2008

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For toddlers that argue over toys, there are a few things I do. (my 2 fighters are 5 and 3, and a 1 yr old ready to get in on the action) .... First of all; toys: birthday toys are special toys. They don't have to share those toys, so they know they have something that belongs to them. Other toys that are argued about get put away for another day, and they've learned this. I have a high shelf that these toys sit on as a reminder. This has worked well. Another thing that is working right now is asking them to tell each other thank you, and when I say thank you when they are getting along. They LOVE making mommy happy. So when I say "oh, thanks so much for being sweet to your sister" it makes them want to be even more sweeter. But, this doesn't take care of all the little spats they have. Kids are kids, and will argue and get on each others nerves in the same way us grown ups do.

Jennifer - posted on 11/05/2008

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I have a daughter and son. I use what my parents made me and my brother do. They have to sit on the couch with their arms around each other until they can apologize nicely and get along. They are now 14 and 11 so they aren't liking it much. About a yr ago I made them walk into the mall holding hands until they could be kind to one another. Now the threat of "do you want to hug" works before we have to use it usually!

Tracy - posted on 11/05/2008

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Deann's comments make me smile. I think there is value in the "rubbing each other the wrong way" aspect of living with siblings. It is true that we need to help our children to become friends, but it's also useful to have some of those rough edges sluffed off to help us mature. Sometimes peer pressure of brothers & sisters can be more effective than any discipline a parent might apply especially with teens. Though open ended threats like Catheryn uses, and hashing it out on the wrestling mat can be useful too. I remember my dad telling my younger brother when he was very young to be careful how he treated our little brother. "Someday he's going to grow up, he's going to be bigger than you & he'll kick you butt." Dad was absolutely right though by then they were best friends & no butts got kicked.

Stacy - posted on 11/05/2008

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Thank you for all the responses I will try them all. It cant hurt to have options. Thank you all for your time.

[deleted account]

This is a question I need an answer to also. My two argue quite a bit and it really wears me out. I've tried talking, but they don't seem to listen. I can remember fighting with my sisters growing up and we're close now, but I don't want to see my kids argue. I'll try the holding hand thing.

Tracy - posted on 11/04/2008

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I suppose an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. Lots of mom's are horror struck when they find themselves quoting their mothers. Well I quote my father as often as my mother. He use to tell us frequently that we should never say something that we would regret if that person were to die today. I have reminded my children often, even when they are not fighting, to treasure each other. I also remind them that the friends they they value now as children may be far away when they are adults. Their siblings are the friends God has given them for life. Now my teens are each other best friends.

Catheryn (Kit) - posted on 11/04/2008

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I make my boys hold hands look each other in the eye and say "I am sorry for..." They hate it so much, that many times all i have to say is "don't do anything you will have to apologize for later!"
Threatening them to kiss and make up works too. 8)

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