how do you keep kids from fighting with each other?

Michele Hersh - posted on 04/20/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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my kids fight constantly with each oter drives me nuts.

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Lori - posted on 04/21/2010

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I have 4 kids, 8,9,9 and 13. It seems like all they do is bicker and tattle to try to get the others into trouble.Or pass blame when they do get busted doing hurtful or mean things towards each other. Though the bickering hasn't stopped, I have slowed it down by punishing all involved,by way of removing anything involved in their issues. But sibling rivalry is common in the distance between your kids. I reinforce that family is family and we have to learn to respect each other. We are all that we have. Plus another thing I have been trying recently is making them retry to create the issue in a positive manner. "but mom he wont leave me alone", my response is to have him tell that he really just wants a little peace and if he (his brother) were to give him 30 mins, then he will be happy to help him with his issue. But the one thing I enforce are TYs and your welcomes. everyone needs to be able to have their feelings and privacy noticed and appreciated.

I added this a couple days later. I had read that writing down their annoyances about each other,tho i think this can work to a point, i feel that it also reinforces the negative aspects of their siblings. Do you remember spin the bottle in HS?? I do this with them also. I will give them 30 mins in a circle with a tube of sorts and have the oldest spin first. who ever the top stops on they are to say one thing that makes them an amazing person, sibling, friend... no matter the subject of the praise. after a while it gets harder and harder for them to come up with responses, BUT it makes them think and think hard about past good that they have done to and for each other. I notice that after 15 mins of this, they are laughing and giggling together. They come up with some crazy things to say, but it makes them appreciate each others differences.

When it comes to (in my opinion) pointing out the negative, that needs to be done with words and like I said B4 recreating the anger and frustration, face to face. With the other telling that they understand and will work harder to not act that way again. And have the pusher apologize AND make the offended say something like "i really appreciate that TY" But i never make them accept the apology if they aren't ready too. Sorry its so long, and I hope this helps you

*word of warning tho* you will find yourself feeling like a therapist or a referee.But persistence will pay off

Debra - posted on 04/22/2010

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Put them in a room together and make them stay there for 1 hour and have them write down all the things that there sibling does to annoy them. Sometimes this can work if they both understand each other a little more. Just a thought

JuLeah - posted on 04/20/2010

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LOL

Well, you didn't share their ages and that matters a bit when it comes to a response, but generally, kids will (eventually) learn what they see in action. They don't much listen to what we say, but they copy what we do.

Give them language: give them examples:

For older kids, talk about the issues when tempers are not flying. Come up with plans for dealing with situations and dealing with anger.

Kids fight. Home is where, if we are lucky, we learn to deal with the world. Home is where we learn to handle situations that don't go our way, and interact with people that have made us angry.

Fighting is natural and always a teaching opportunity - hard on parents though

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Dawn - posted on 04/24/2010

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I give mine a mutual enemy when it gets really bad. Me! Works like a charm. Doesn't always work but it's worth a try.
Time out is also great. Normally they sort the problem out very quickly. Wish hitting or kicking (violent behaviour) I have tried telling to carry on and see how hard they can hit each other. That stops the problem immediately as they actually don't want to hurt each other.
I have found that if there is stress around them and if you, as the Mom, are battling then the fighting will get worse.
It is usual for kids to fight, though, and you just need to try not to let it get to you. Difficult, I know but it'll be ok.
Good luck

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