i have a 5 year old and a 8 year old and they fight really bad and my 5 year old starts most of it and i cant get them to stop ,its really starting to bother my 8 year old really bad because my 5 year old just doesnt stop.

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I had this with my two older girls when they were younger. We tried everything and it was always the younger one going after my older one. Usually the older one didn't hit back. Finally I had had it and told the younger one -"if you hit your sister, she has permission to bound you and you are the only one who is going to get in trouble." She thought I was bluffing so she tried it. It only happened ONCE. That's all it took. She hit her sister who was 2.5yrs older and a strong gymnast and my older one let her have it. And only the younger one got in trouble. It never happened again! They are now 16 and 13.5yrs and are doing just fine. Some may not like that idea - that's okay. It worked for us. Now my 5yr old twin boys are fighting all the time but both of them are starters and fighters so that won't work for them. We'll figure something else out. Just my story.

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Vicki - posted on 02/03/2009

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They are learning to deal with differences. If you don't let them disagree (which often translates fight) they will not learn to work through disagreements and differences. One way to deal with it is to have them each say 5 good things about the other person. WARNING: this could be time consuming. I once had my entire family sat down at the kitchen table for 2 hours. But it is very effective.

Kerry-Lee - posted on 02/03/2009

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Hi, know exactly what you are going through - all 4 of mine fight but the 11 and 8 year old are the worst. On Sunday we put them into a bedroom together with strict instructions to work out how to get along and show love for each other. Instead they plotted how to run away for the night. They had sleeping bags, tinned food, a weapon (for the bad guys) and a note written. Luckly my husband guessed something was up when they were hurrying through their chores later without complaining. He casually asked when they were running away and the boys burst into tears. It all turned out to be a good learning experience for the whole family and we are all friends again. Guess it is all normal - I grew up fighting my sisters and brother and think I turned out ok ( I hope anyway)

Jessica - posted on 02/02/2009

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Try having the 8 year old plan a play date with the 5 year old with things the 5 year old likes to do. Have the 8 year old make it a date all about the 5 year old, fav. games, snacks, movie, craft, ect... I have found that the picking is just that the child is wanting to be just like that child and will do anything to get there attention. If the 8 yr old gives him that attention it will build a strong bond between the two and help them respect eachother. The 5 yr old will began to look forward to the "special time" with the 8 yr old. And the 5 yr old could also set dates for the 8 yr old inviting him to a "party all about him" This will help the kids think about what eachother likes and dislikes. They can sit down and talk to eachother about what they would want at their "party/playdate". Make it on one day durning the week so they have time to plan and make it really special, and make the time to only be between 1-1 1/2 hours otherwise it may be to much and fighting will happen.

Lisa - posted on 02/02/2009

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I have two boys, age 5 and 7. They are constantly bickering about something. I love your idea about making them hold hands!

Tiffany - posted on 02/02/2009

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I'm sure you've tried a lot of strategies to get your children to stop fighting, but in case you haven't tried this one:



Find each child's currency - what is this? Every child has something they really enjoy ie. TV, video games, Rockband, coloring......they all have something. Once you find it, use it to your advantage as a reward for good behavior and a punishment for bad behavior.



If your younger child is continuously starting fights, take all of his privileges away and have him/her earn them back by being nice to other siblings and NOT by fighting. When he/she does well and earns more and more things, continue the cycle if the fighting starts again and take something special away from him/her. Explain to the child what the NEW rules are and the NEW consequences of their actions and you absolutely must follow through on the discipline side of the coin or all efforts will be lost and they will push you even harder. Also, do not forget to praise nice behavior towards others, make a big deal of the times they are being polite and playing nicely with each other and reward accordingly.



Remember, kids are natural negotiators and manipulators and you have to out smart them. Best of luck to you and your family. God bless.

Julie - posted on 01/29/2009

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Find something they each love and take it away.  Start with one day then two then three and so on.  I did this with my son and all I have to do is say do you want 3 days and he knows what that means.  He is up to 3 days and I have yet to take away all electronics for that long. He has learned to control himself.  I also one time made my middle two be tied together for a whole day they sure were nice to eachother after that.  Good luck,

Brandy - posted on 01/29/2009

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I have 6 & 7 year old boys who bug my 9 year old and when there bug my 9 year old she just goes into hear room and in our home one of our rules is that they are not allowed in my 9 year olds room unless they knock and she invites them in and so she knows she has a calm and quiet place to go thats just her own and it seems to work out well..cause when they go and bug her she just goes to her room and thats when i take them for time outs

Paige - posted on 01/28/2009

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When my two were little (they are 3 yrs apart...boy & girl) & they would fight I would make them hug each other & keep holding onto each other till they were both laughing. It worked everytime! They are now 18 & 15 & don't get me wrong they still have their moments when they snip at each other, but for the most part they get along just great. You can see now more & more how they really care for each other.

Jessica - posted on 01/28/2009

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My children are the exact same ages as yours...and do the same thing FIGHT! Lately If I see them fighting I have been making them sit close to each other, hold hands, or hug for a few minutes. It has almost cured it!!! They seem to be nicer to each other and when they do fight, they are less likely to run to me and tattle. They would much rather figure it out between themselves than have mom make them hold hands! Good luck!

User - posted on 01/28/2009

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YA i have a seven year old and a three year old and mine fight really bad too. It is also the younger one that starts it too.  But that couch suggestion i think i am going to try.

Shennandoah - posted on 01/28/2009

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My boys are 15 months apart. They compete over EVERYTHING. Who can do anything better and faster. Drives me NUTS!! A lot of the times it leads to arguments and fights. They are 8 and 7...  Still trying different things to see what can get them to stop bickering. It is tough to be a referee while holding your 6 month old daughter. They arent that BAD, but the competition thing is just too much.

Debb - posted on 01/28/2009

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As a mom of four, my recommendation is to be sure each child has their own strong identity and purpose.  When a child has their very own responsiblity or gift (talent) recognized by the family, they are less likely to try to steal the limelight from siblings because they know they too have a special value to the make up of the family unit.

Stephanie - posted on 01/28/2009

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We all grow out of it. My sister is 2 years younger than I and we fought as kids. We were friends in high school and still fought, over clothes, boys, the car, etc. But I would say by the time we were out of high school we were the best of friends. I'm 41 now and I don't think we have had a fight or arguement in over 20 years. I believe, in time, it will click.

Wendi - posted on 01/28/2009

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When I told my mom I was expecting the second child she told me at that point they would fight all the time because they would be 3 yrs. apart... boy was she right. even now after the oldest has left home, they still go after it when ever they can. they are always competing. Over the littlest thing... I am hoping one of them will grow up soon.



I have tried everything.. hand hoding, sharring room, fist fighting in the front yard... nothing helps... pray they out grow it... good luck.....

Aohinteriors - posted on 01/27/2009

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I don't know what your's are fighting about, like if it is a power struggle that leads to yelling or if you have a child physically attacking another. If it is physical, you need to cross the room and physically seperate them the moment it starts, don't just call out from across the room. My children are a baby, and a 6 year old girl and a 9 year old boy . The older two are either best friends or bitter enemies from one moment to the next. I agree with the other comments, boredom usually leads to fighting, and if they are given something to do it can cut down on this. However, children need to have some time in their day to play however they choose, it helps their imaginations and is good for teaching them how to deal with not being entertained all the time. So, sometimes you have fighting during non structured time. My mother came from a huge family and raised a whole bunch of us and she was a Kindergarten teacher for 30 years. Her advice is to remind them in a gentle voice that the other sibling loves them, and then redirect their activity. Don't say it like, "Timmy you should love your sister! Now go hug her and tell her you're sorry!" You should say, "Timmy, Sarah loves you so much! I know you don't want to hurt her. (Then change the atmosphere by redirecting) Hey, who can help me figure this out: which rack of the dishwasher can be unloaded the fastest? O.k., you take the top, you take the bottom. 123 go!" I'm not trying to punish them with a chore, you may want to ask them to help you remember the words to a song or what time a favorite show comes on. I disagree with punishment that involves making them show love. That doesn't make sense. Children that grow up with siblings learn from their family lessons in how to deal with difficult situations in life. Do you think they will hold somebody's hand at the office when they can't get along as an adult? Of course not. Teach them as children how to act with empathy towards others and it will help them later in life. Good luck!

Stephanie - posted on 01/27/2009

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I have the same problem. My 8year old is a boy and my 5 year old is a girl. He can be so mean to her . And she can really push his buttons when he is minding his own business. She pushes until he cracks and it gets ugly. I am lucky they don't hit. I try to not intervien unless I have too. Because rarely do I know who really started it. I try telling them they can't talk to eachother for 15 minutes and that works with the 5 year old. The 8 year old is a little tougher, I take stuff away. He hates that. I have found the more busy they are the less it happens. And I really give kudos when they get along.

Stella - posted on 01/27/2009

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I can totally relate to you. My kids have been fighting since I had my second child. They are now 15 and 12. They still fight but now it's more verbal than physical. Either way, I know it's not easy but just do the best you can. I have tried to seperate them but that doesn't always work. Good Luck to you and just know that you are not alone!

Hayley - posted on 01/27/2009

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My daughters (7 and nearly 5) fight with each other too. One thing I have to say to you without giving you a way to stop it is to realise that it is NORMAL!! It helps me to know that my children aren't the only ones who fight with each other. My youngest is the one who normally starts it too. We are all normal :-) Good luck with it all!!

User - posted on 01/27/2009

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I also have a 7 year old and a 5 year old that lately fight really bad as well. I am having a hard time stopping it, and my 7 year old seems to be quite aggressive causing almost physical damage.

Roma - posted on 01/27/2009

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If you can believe this my 11 year old and 17 year old do it!  (Two youngest of four).  One day I got so sick of it I made them sit on the sofa together, side-by-side.  Then I told them to give each other a hug.  I took a picture of them with my cell phone and then e-mailed it to the computer where I posted it on another site on my profile.  They still argue but not as much.  It does get better in time.  Another thing we do is tell them that if they can't say something nice to each other not to say anything at all and the first one who does gets something taken away.  (For my 11 year old daughter it's her Nintendo DS or one night of of her favorite TV show.  For my son it is one night without his cell phone or going with his friends for a while.)  Reward them for a kind word spoken.  I compliment them or give them a little more free time within limits.

Donna - posted on 01/27/2009

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Quoting Patricia:

i have a 5 year old and a 8 year old and they fight really bad and my 5 year old starts most of it and i cant get them to stop ,its really starting to bother my 8 year old really bad because my 5 year old just doesnt stop.




i have simiular experiance there is a 4 year gap between my eldest two .when connor was 4 and aaron 8 they were constant annoying each other. they are 13 and 8 now and things have got better. but at the time i did my best to get them out as often as i could even if it was other friends houses .i tried to fill up their days i made a chart where we had take it in turns day.



one day we did what aaron wanted then the next day was connors. it was hard work but most of the time it worked and then at the weekend it was mummys choice which ment a treat to beach the park something we could all do. we even camped out on the living room floor in duvets watch films and eat popcorn and pizza what ever worked . hope this helps xx

Lisa - posted on 01/27/2009

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well u can try 2 dif ways....i tell my kids if they dont have anything nice to say dont say anything at all...have them do this....if they start in on each other look at them and say ok thats one...again then ok thats 2 again ok thats 3 and time outsit who ever is starting it in a chair up against the wall for the amount of min of thier age...when they have completed thier time tell them ok if it starts again ...start all over again...eventually they will catch on...# 2 ..give them little tasks to do that they enjoy, keep them busy...if they r busy they wont have time to fight ..they usually behave this way because they r bored or one may feel less equal to the other one...practice equal one on one play!! In the car is a little diff. u can do the counting method also so when u get to three have them face out the windo and there is to be absolutly no talking!!

Anne - posted on 01/27/2009

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Hi Patricia, i have 2 children the same age with the same dilema, at the minute im attending a parent survival course to learn to deal with it, we are only on the 2nd week, but it has been useful so far, i thought my son had adhd, he was sent to see a phsycologist and they said he was just a normal boy growing up, if you want to chat about what you can do just drop me a line and we can have a chat if you like



Speak soon



Anne x

User - posted on 01/27/2009

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When mine were that age, I used to make them sit on the couch for 15 minutes holding hands, and the more they fought, the longer I made them sit there!

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