How do I deal with siblings who are fighting all the time?

What are some tips for moms who have siblings that fight with one another? How can you handle this and what are suggestions for putting an end to the fighting?

40  Answers

1 9

I have a 9yo and an 11yo. For the most part I let them deal with their own issues HOWEVER when it gets bad......I add their age as the years go along and they must sit and HUG for that amount of time. So, just recently they had to sit and hug for 20 minutes and it ended w/laughter and apologies. Sometimes they have to be reminded that they are family and they do LOVE each other!!! ;)

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0 0

I like that!!

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2 29

Wine. Lots of wine! ;)

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9 4

My kind of answer!

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25 6

If you're mean you clean!

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4 28

I agree if you are mean you have to clean, by my standards and not that of their own..... Then the apologies flow like rain on an April day. I have to add that conversing about the root problem and jointly coming up with a solution brings out the better of the children because it teaches them individually how to see the other child's perspective.

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0 13

I have 3 boys, 11, 5,and 3 It is a battle field in my house. As an ECE (early childhood educator ) working with other parent's children works, but when it comes to dealing with my own at home, ECE seems to go out the window. Because of the age difference with my kids sometimes is hard to figure out how to appropriately set limits. I created a chart for good behavior and hard behavior every time they help each other they get a sticker, when they get up to ten stickers I reward them with an extra book at bed time, they get to pick a family movie, a trip to their favorite park, a play-date or go swimming. I have to say that sometimes they loose stickers and well it takes them a while to gain them back. I have to be careful that I don't just jump and do all those activities, we get a calendar and plan it out. It has worked and I've had some peaceful moments.

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0 0

Francisca I use the reward chart for my daughter of 5 and am just starting on my son 2.5 but I never thought to use it to reward them for the whole fighting scenario. Thanks for the idea.

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0 20

Get a referee shirt and a whistle. Sometimes a bull horn, they will stop and look @ you like you're crazy and realize how silly they're acting.

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1 13

That is hilarious - love this idea. Often not hard to get them to laugh but doesn't curb the behavior the "next" time!

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2 6

When there is any fighting going on between our 18 yr old girl, 14 yr old boy & 9 yr boy, someone wants to be "right" & in control. Either teen vs teen or boy vs the boy, we can see the writing on the wall. They do come to one of us for tattling and blaming and fortunately not very often. I let them know that in the real world, you have to learn to work it out amoung yourselves. If they can not work it out and we have to step in to referee... they all have to do an extra chore together ( push for more team work ). Ultimately, us parents have an "eagle ear" to confirm they are truly working it out fairly ( no bullies allowed ).
Have to give them in incentive to NOT start fighting!

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1 24

I have one boy age 14 and one girl age 12. When they are fighting, we tell them that it has to be taken outside. I let them yell at each other for how ever long they want to carry it out. But inside the home is the "safe zone". Yelling zone is outside. When the neighbors stop and stare, believe me, the yelling doesn't last as long as it would, if they were inside. I stay neutral. I don't interfere. I do draw the line if it gets physical. Then it's bedtime, I don't care if it's 2:00pm...they will stay in their room until the next morning. Missing one meal, will not kill them, however, they may think it will, but it won't. The longest they've stayed outside was 1-1/2 hours just carrying on yelling at each other, but when them came in..they sat and played a board game, without incident. Kids want you to pick between them. If you take that away, then they don't have to fight for it....:)

6
0 0

When my children are fighting, i let them stand up and tell them "if you think that fighting is good, okey start fighting", then they stop fighting.

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1 13

I have two sons - a 10 year old and a 6 year old. They argue a lot and can't find common grounds when they are together. Not always but several times if not most of the time. However, they miss one another when 1 of them is not around. A few days ago I tried an experiment. I let them argue and fight (verbally) until they said all they had to say and after a few minutes, there they were, giggling and playing as if nothing had happened. It's not easy, but I find that the more we intervene, the worse it could get. I also found that if I get really angry with them both, they become allies and they get along realllly well!!!

5
0 0

I have a 2 1/2 year old boy and a 5 year old girl and they seem to be constantly fighting. I have started giving time out much like Angelina Crow, I have also found that the threat of losing privileges works for my daughter 5 but not my son 2.5 so that is when I have a complete change of tact and get them outside on their bikes and in the cubby house or on the trampoline. A lot of the time I find they fight when they are cooped up inside for too long so rain or shine we get out of the house as much as possible.

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1 13

Sooo true - also if they are tired or hungry!

0 17

I notice when I don't intervene with my 7 and 9 year old boys, most of the time they work it out themselves. When my 7 year old comes to tattle, I just very calmly tell him "sorry buddy, you'll have to work this out yourselves..... remember to try to treat your brother as you would any other friend". If it gets physical..... I do intervene, and have made them sit back to back on the floor until they giggled (takes a while of pushing). It's hard not to intervene sometimes..... especially when they're vying for my attention while I'm on the phone, or in the bathroom. If they're fighting over the TV, I very calmly turn it off, and walk out....not saying another word. Very quickly they decide themselves that they should take turns, and sweetly let me know what they've decided and if they can try again. I try to remember that this is a safe place for them to learn social skills, and it's my job to promote that!

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3 0

I really like this response! I have a similar approach. Also of note, although extremely difficult, not raising your voice or showing your own irritation really helps. When you behave that way, no matter what you SAY they are going to do what you DO. This is terribly hard for me, but I am working on it, and am honest with my children about that and invite them to work on it with me. Seems to be working so far.

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1 15

Read the book Siblings Without Rivalry by Elaine Mazlish and Adele Faber. In essence it says if a parent acknowledges each child's feelings, helps children solve their own problems, instead of stepping in all the time, and tells each child how they are special without boxing them into roles, then there will be less competition, more cooperation, and happier children.

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26 0

There is no real steadfast rule to stop fighting between siblings as every family is diverse. The best solution I have ever seen done was when I was growing up. When any of us started getting to the frustration levels of a fight we were to let our mother know immediately this helped immensely as she would take the frustrated one and go for a walk to talk it out. When ariving back home if it was something worth of fighting over such as boundary issues she handled it, if it was just plain old getting on each other's nerves she handed us projects to do seperately. The project could be anything from reading a book and telling her about it to arts and crafts stuff she knew what we each enjoyed and used it on us full force. In a family with 5 siblings 3 older and 2 younger? This was invaluable and she knew what was going on with each of us 99% of the time. Just be careful with the project as my older brother once took a can of spray paint and painted our father's work truck green. He was told to go paint something, LOL.

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3 0

I don't think this would work in my home. My kids would just argue to get the alone walk with Mom. But I do agree that there is no one thing that will work for every family or even all the time in one family.

0 11

I have two boys (11 and 9) and I have this problem 99% of the time. I think getting them distracted helps the most. Ive made them stand and hug for several minutes and tell each other what they love about each other!! I also take things they like away. It is a never ending battle!!!

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3 25

I feel you Debbie. My boys are 13 and 10. All they do is bicker, its funny sometimes. My lil one tattles a lot too. Is good in a way, cause I find out things I never knew about my oldest. Thats mostly what they argue about.

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20 117

Honestly, there's not much you can do when they're young, they just don't like each other, just different people. My sister and I used to fist fight right up to high school. Once we did our own things though we actually miss each other now and we don't fight any more and I can actually say that we are best friends. When we younger we had our moments of niceties but they were rare. Praise them when they're not fighting, not sarcastically. Just be happy with the windows you do get so you don't stress out. They'll grow out of it.

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0 8

Yep. I'm the oldest of four and I used to tell my youngest 2 siblings that I didn't like my brother til he turned 17 (I was 21) so they had a ways to go... Now that we are all grown we get along

0 7

i have a 9 year old girl and a 7 year old girl and a 5 year old boy and they all ways fight so i seprate them by putting one of each in their rooms and also tell them if they cant get along they lose their privliges ans that seems to work

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2 5

I have 2 daughters 10 and 6 that argue, tease, and tattle constantly. A mother can only take so much. I also have to add that both girls are ADHD, which heightens the stress of the household. Our oldest goes to a therapist and she suggested an amazing game that works! You design a game board on a small poster board (11 x14) . I made a Candyland themed game, where I had 25 spaces (make each space different colors or numbered to prevent cheating) that lead to 3 prizes (total 78 spaces-including prize space). Each prize level should increase in desire. My first prize was going out for ice cream and movie rental of their choice. 2nd prize was go to the movies. 3rd was a trip to Makutu's - themed indoor amuzement place. Each prize should include something that all children enjoy and decided by them to motivate them. It shouldn't be a shopping trip, unless it's for a game that all will enjoy together.

how to play: When you witness kind words or helping their siblings or cooperating together peacefully you give them a roll of a die. I allow both girls to roll and they use the best roll. This improves teamwork and prevents fighting over who rolls. You create a single gamepiece (toy, stone,..), they are working as a team so only one is needed. If they are caught fighting, using unkind words or actions, tattling, then they go back a space. It can take up to a week to get to the first prize. At first, the kindness will seem fake for your attention, but still award them. You'll find the fakeness fades and they will actually start cooperating. This is the best thing I've ever used. I also recently brought out the game and used the first prize to regain their privedges (DS, Wii, computer), you'd be surprised how fast they cooperate!

Hope this helps :)

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0 36

i have a 10 yr son and a 14 yr old daughter, and yea that would never work. how do u handle a teenager and a tween... Shes mean and he cryies

1
0 4

ha same here 10 year old daughter and 8.5 year old son she's nasty and he just learning to answer back, but if argueing over tv then I turn it off, if its over a toy it gets chucked out the window and if its reallt bad they get sent to thier respective rooms. with a dont come down untill your ready to say your sorry to each other - works for me

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2 9

I wish there was cure all for this my 12 yr old son had to basically be the parent for 3yrs while i had to be away. So he thinks he has to always jump in with my 7yr old daughter. It drives her crazy, and the fights begin. I have to remind my son that me & fiance are the adults/parents in the house. We have used reward charts that included tempers. My favorite one was the ladder system. For every day they had more stickers vs x's they got to move up the ladder. Once they hit the top of the ladder they got an extra prize. But the thing to remember is to always be ready to adapt your game plan. Something will work for a little while, but they will get "bored" and you'll need to find something else that may work.

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4 26

I have a 17 year old son and a 8 year old ADHD son. They argue alot. I hope as they get older they will get closer. My oldest says the younger one gets on his nerves and well the youngest one loves his big brother but does not like to listen to him. I have explained to youngest one when mom is at work big brother is in charge and you have to listen to him. I have done the reward chart and it works great for youngest one but for the older one he is beyond reward charts lol. My oldest one I know loses his temper and has grabbed his brother but he has not hit him but I have told him when it gets were you want to hit you need to take a walk or cool down you dont every lay a hand on your younger brother and I have also told the youngest one if you are going to hit your brother then dont expect him not to do anything. But I can say this if you let anyone esle say or even attempt to do any harm to either of them they stand up for each other.

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1,372 31

My girls are 22 months apart (4 & 2) and the oldest one is sooooooooo into "being mommy" she drives everyone insain. When the fighting starts I just redirect everyone. Their brother is only 8 months old so I will ask one of them to help him do something or get him something and the other one I will take to the other room with me and find something for them to "clean" (windex on the dish washer gives me enough time to do some dishes lol), or i will lets them help me get a snack.

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0 3

That is exactly part of the problem with my boys. Christopher (the 12 year old) thinks he is the "second parent" and must add his two cents to everything I say and tell Connor to do. Connor (the 7 year old) does not take to being bossed around by his brother and will not stand for it! I am constantly having to remind Chris that Connor HAS two parents thank you and we are doing just fine w/o his assistance!!!

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0 3

I too have two boys, ages 12 and 7 and all they do is fight!! I have tried "positive parenting" where I will give extra privilages (like letting them stay up later) for playing together nicely. That works for awhile, but then they are back to it! Some days they can't even be in the same zip code! It does not help that we have a small house so they can't separate that far, and they have to share a room. Anyone who has good ideas, I would love to hear them too!!!!

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5 0

I would like to know how to deal successfully with this as well. My girls are 4 and 6 and Michele, your problem sounds all too familiar to me.

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2 6

Im interested in the answer to this too. My 2 and 4 year old girls fight constantly. The funny thing is when theyre separated from one another they each cry for the other. They never seem to actually get along.

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5 6

I have two girls about the same age as yours and I go through the same thing. They fight constantly. And when the other isn't around they seem depressed. It's not that they ask for one another but they sleep a lot more and just aren't as hyper. Sometime I like it because I need the break since they are both at home still but it also makes me sad.

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0 0

Hey guys! I'm not a mom. I'm actually a ten year old boy. I fight with my 6 year old sibling all the time. What usually stops it is when he says I don't like him I say 'Well if you say I don't like you then I don't like you' and then as quick as ever he would answer back 'I like you!' After he says that you should say 'Ok I like you too.' and then the fighting stops. I hope this helps!

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1

i would make them hold hands for an khour

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3 0

I can't answer the question, I need answers to the question. I have a 16 year old daughter that is lazy, does not want to deal with anything that is not her computer and skype with her friends, I also have a 6 year old daughter, and a two year old son. Since they constantly see the 16 year old answer and talk back with an attitude the little ones also do it. She is a great girl as a student, gets good grades and she is somewhat mature but has an attitude towards everything we tell her and does not respect us sometimes. It rubs off on the little ones and I am in desperate need of advice. Thank you!!!

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482 54

Wave Master Punching Bag!! I have them beat it up instead of each other.
I have two boys 8 & 11. I do not believe in "letting boys figure it out" Like everything else in life it needs to be TAUGHT. Taught that fighting is not an acceptable way to communicate, or an except able way to express themselves, or treat others. When it happens, the referee ( me) steps in and they are placed in separate time out chairs. (as many minutes as they are old). Then I ask the usually question, "When is it ok to hurt your brother? They respond with the usual answer, "Never" Then I ask, so why are you in time out? They say, he started it.... to which I remind them, it's not who starts it, but who finishes it, and how. Teaching them to use their words, remove themselves from the situation or get me for help in resolving the conflict before throwing down! This way you have "finished it" properly and guess who is in trouble? Your brother. but when you "take the bait" as in the story Simon's Hook. And react with physical assault, you are now the one in trouble. Then before leaving time out, they need to give me an example of how to handle the situation better the next time. We review boundaries, and remind them that respect for each other, their things, personal space, and privacy is important. Last, they apology with "I'm sorry for..." and the response is "i forgive you" We NEVER teach to them respond with "it's ok" because it isn't. Then, while "hugging it out" I remind them they are to protect each other and have each others backs because that is what brothers do.

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6 22

I have a 13 year old son, an 8 year old daugther and a 6 month old daugther. I thought that with them being spaced out I would have less of a battle, but my son and daughter fight all the time. It breaks my heart to see how easily he can hurt her and we have tried so many things to get them to spend time together without driving each otherr insane. The worst part is that my son is in love with the baby. He talks to her and holds her and is very involved and I feel like as she gets older that will cause my older daughter to resent her. I run a daycare and have worked with children and mental health but when it comes to my kids I feel so helpless. I have siblings but we are 11 and 15 years apart, so this wasn't really an issue when I was a child. Anyone have tips for this fed up mama?

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63 13

My boys 13 and 15 and I set the example with my siblings. They fight sure but they admire each other and know they can depend on each other when the chips are down. I tell them you don't have to be like your brother but you better be there for him. Over all they get along great when they are not killing each other.

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1 0

I was able to get hold of a chart called Responsibility Chart. You put in the stuff that they have to do like setting the table, bringing out trash, make up bed, etc.. but it also includes stuff like no teasing, no using of bad words, sharing, etc (all in magnet form) and it has monday, tuesday, and the rest of the week. You just grade them by using what's provided like "awesome. good job, etc". They are encouraged to do these things on their own cause they like to see how you sort of grade their behavior and feel proud if they see a lot of "awesome and excellent" in their charts. You can change this on a weekly basis depending on what you want them to do. This minimizes fighting instead, they work together to get good grades.

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5 29

I need help with this big time! My girls are 6 and 2 and all they do is fight. Its VERY rare that I see them getting along. My 6yr old is a very controlling scorpio where my 2yr old is sagitarious and LOVES to push the limits (and boundaries). Whats sad about the whole thing is my son is only 1 and he is starting to fall in to place with their scandals. (their fighting is ruining my sweet boy) :(

any ideas for the younger guys??

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3 36

I have a 10 year old boy and a 6 year old girl and they always fight. My boy doesn't understand that his sister wants to play with him all the time and my girl doesn't understand that her brother doesn't want to play all the time. Then we get into how they play. It has to be one way or the other. When my boy trys to help her out she fights with him because in her eyes he is always wrong and she is alway right. i have tried the hugging thing and it didn't work very well. i even followed it up with they have to play together with no electronics for an hour and it didn't work. my daughter feels like my son is trying to boss her around and that makes her mad. she has a problem realizing that he is older and he knows more. even with her homework, if i have him help her, she fights with him and challenges everything. I don't know what to do with her. Now if you add my 10 year old step daughter into the picture, the older 2 get along great but i have the same problem when it comes to my daughter and step daughter.

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0 56

I wish I knew I have 4 Teenagers from 13 to 19 , 3 girls and a boy my girls are ruthless to my son and my son is a whiner ... I have tried all the things on this page they did not work for me but for a while if they were arguing I had a rug they had to go stand on together until they made up and hug and say I love you before they could get off it ...only worked for a while ~

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0 7

I start acting like them...it's funny, we laugh. Sometimes I yell, sometimes I don't....fighting is not always a bad thing, it teaches them how to negotiate, stick up for themselves and treat others. They are not allowed to be mean though, that's where I draw the line. It's nice to say my kids never fight and we sit and talk and work things out...however, that may not always relate back to relationships with others, so you have to teach them other tricks of the trade...like it's ok to be mad every once in awhile, ok to stick up for yourself, ok to have your own opinions and no you cannot throw an xbox controller at your sister without consequences. Also, its a good opportunity for me to observe and see whats going on with them and gives me an indication of what they are thinking and sometimes behaving when I am not around

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0 13

read the book siblings without rivalry!

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3 47

When my 8yo girl and my 6yo boy fight, i make them sit cross-legged on the floor facing eachother with knees touching and they have to stay there and stare at each other until they remember that they love eachother. This always starts with a bunch of whining and fighting but ends in apologies, laughing and hugging.

Having read a lot of the suggestions on here has inspired me to try several different tactics. Thanks for all the inspiration!!!

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0 14

i'm sooo glad its not only me that all this happens to my 2 girls are 13yrs and 8yrs and the 13yr old bosses the 8yr old it really does my head in at times i'm just hoping it gets better in the future

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1 6

When my 7 and 8 year old girls really get into it, I make them stop, apologize, hug and then make them clean each others rooms. They don't fight that often, since they'd rather not fight than have to clean each others room.

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1 7

I have 4 boys that love each other to bits but somehow would get rubbed the wrong way but another thus meanness arises.Normally I'd get them to apologise to one another and they'd have to hug.If it doesn't look authentic to me,it (apology and hug)is repeated.They normally get along instantly and that meanness is instantly forgotten.

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0 30

I like the whistle idea. I might try that one!

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