Siblings fighting

Yolandi - posted on 02/18/2016 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I need your urgent help and advice please!!! We have 2 boys, 7 years and 3 years old. The fight about everything and I mean EVERYTHING! The youngest I guess had to start defending himself from very young growing up with an older brother but his brother on the other hand is also now defending himself against his little brother that hits him (and us). The little one screams for everything, hits every one, yet he is more loving than the oldest. The oldest keeps pestering him and visa versa, what brotherly exercises can they do to start getting along, they can't even sit next to each other without a fight, HELP PLEASE, I feel all I do after work is scream and spank them because they drive us crazy!!!

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Polly - posted on 02/18/2016

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What works best for us and our 3 kids is positive reinforcement. Kids will do anything for their parents' attention... even if it's negative attention. Try - and I know this sounds impossible - to ignore the bad behaviour and reward good behaviour.
Conflict is very common between siblings... that's what sibling rivalry is all about. I know you must be tired at the end of a work day, and the last thing you want to hear is your kids screaming at each other, but the kids need to see you modelling a positive, calm attitude. Try to distract them by having them help you make dinner or get to their homework.
We also try our best to have one-on-one time on the weekends with each kids... which is difficult for us because we are out-numbered!
As far as the hitting goes, with all due respect, if you spank your kids, you're only teaching them that hurting someone is the only way to get them to do what you want and that really makes no sense at all. Screaming at your kids also tells them that you've lost control of the situation... and that's what your kids are trying to do... to get control of the situation.

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