My son has been fighting a lot with his younger sister and now it's just getting out of hand. He's always just so angry and thinks no one loves him. Has anyone dealt with a similar situation?

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Jenni - posted on 02/20/2012

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When they are not in the midst of a fight. Discuss with them both proper conflict resolution and set up some house rules:



We don't hurt each other when we're mad.

We don't yell at each other when we're mad.

We don't name call when we're mad.



We talk it out.



It could go something like that. Remind them of it regularly. Address both children so one doesn't feel singled out. And discuss when they are both calm and attentive.



Role playing is also a great way to solve future conflicts. When they are calm have them act out the argument. And how to solve it fairly. You can either have them do a role reversal or just play themselves depending on what you feel the situation needs. Role reversals can help them to empathize with one another.

Jenni - posted on 02/20/2012

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A lot of times children who act out a lot, do because they have low self-esteem. Concentrate on building up his self-esteem in a healthy way.



They can also act out a lot if they do not feel they are getting enough attention. They act out negatively because they have been conditioned to get attention through negative outbursts.



I would try spending more positive one on one time with him to address the need for attention. As well as showing him the rewards of good behaviour. As Katherine suggested, a rewards chart would be helpful. Try to pay more attention to when he is doing something positive. Don't over praise, but make sure you acknowledge the good things he does more than the bad things. Even negative attention can be rewarding for some children.



When he fights with his sister, keeping in mind arguments are normal between siblings, but if it turns into name calling, yelling, hurting.... separate them both. One to one room and one to another room until they have both calmed down. Bring them back together to solve the issue calmly between themselves. You may ask them, what can we do so that this is fair? and have them talk it out. Concentrating on one siblings negative behaviour can actually feed into sibling rivalry. But teaching them how to solve conflicts with their words and talking it out will give them the proper tools they need to solve conflicts without using negative behaviours.



I know from experience that punishing one child can breed more resentment towards the other child even if the first child was "in the wrong". Which fuels future fights. My sister was always very mild, rarely in trouble. When we got into arguments and it got heated. I was the one punished for acting negatively. It only made me resent her more. I felt like my parents loved her more because she was a good kid and I was a bad kid.

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Rachal - posted on 02/22/2012

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I haven't recieved any comments back. Not sure if anyone can see reply. Please let me know

Rachal - posted on 02/20/2012

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He's 9 years old...whenever I've spent alone time with him, it seems to go well but when we are all together with my daughter he starts to get angry. He's been hitting her a lot. It has become a routine. I feel like no matter how much I explain he forgets the next second. He does have a low self esteem. He had to repeat grade 1 twice and since then he was known as the kid who repeated the grade all his grade 1 friends would make fun of him buy he would never say anything. Now he's in grade 3 and has made a lot of friends. They even have sleepovers. At some point I thought I should change his school but seeing that he's made a lot of friends I decided not to. Although I'm still confused about that. He loves his sister a lot but his anger takes him over him. I read that sometimes if a child acts out its due to loss of a parent. His died passed away 6 years ago. My son was just 3 an half, but he still remembers certain things about him. We talk about their dad whenever they like to. I don't know if that has anything to do with his negativity. He has no hope for the future, he finds something negative in every positive action he does. I've tried not to focus on the negative but I feel like hes watching me to see if I would scold him or get angry. I dont know where have I gone wrong, I'm pretty sure it's something deep but I can't seem to reach the root of the problem.

Katherine - posted on 02/20/2012

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DO you spend a lot of time with him alone? That might help. If he thinks no one loves him it's because his behavior makes no one like IT. How old is he? That's sad :( I would suggest just spending one on one time with him. Take him to the park just you and him. Go somewhere with just you and him. Make a rewards chart.

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