When to intervene

Jennifer - posted on 06/29/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 3 oldest kids are 7,6, and 3. This summer break, they seem to have hit a point of non stop fighting. When the older 2 were in school, it wasn't so bad. A simple "stop it" or "knock it off" was all that was needed. Not even a time out was needed, because they stopped as soon as I told them. Now, I think it is just the fact of the numbers. One kid always feels left out (even if they try to do something that includes all) and he/she tries to make up for it by picking an argument or fight. It's never all out hitting and kicking or anything like that. It's usually just name calling, taking each others seat or toy, and the occasional push or shove. I've finally come to the point to see if they will resolve things on their own, because I think it's about time they learn how to do that. What do other's do. Do you intervene from the beginning, let them go a little to see if it stops, or let it go on til it stops on it's own even if it takes hours and noone is getting seriously hurt?

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Amber - posted on 06/30/2011

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I remember fighting with my brother when we were kids. As we got older, we were given a chance to work it out on our own. When we were younger she intervened almost all of the time.

If we called each other names, we had to sit down and think of nice things to say about each other. Complimenting each other actually made us feel better and calmed us down after the initial groaning about it.

I remember one time when we actually got into a fight. My mom made us sit on the couch and hold hands. She said we needed to learn that we shouldn't use our hands to hurt. I never wanted to hit my brother again because I didn't want to hold his hand.

Heather - posted on 06/30/2011

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I agree with Katherine. Pushing and shoving won't help them learn anything. If you are happy with them acting like that as adults, allow it now. If you don't like it, stop it now. I sat mine down when they started this and told them that their brother(or sisters) were the only ones that they had and that they needed to look after them. They are the ones who will stick with them in the world. I then moved their beds around and made them sleep in the same room. I still can't believe it but it worked amazingly well. They started looking at themselves as a team (you know, us against the world) and the fighting slowed drastically. Good luck! It's tiring at the moment but it can get loads better!

Katherine - posted on 06/29/2011

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Intervene right away. If you don't they'll think they can just get away with it. If they were older it would be a different story.
I would put them both in time outs to tell you the truth.
Pick a day for each where you spend a couple of hours alone with them and go somewhere "special." Maybe that would help with the feeling of being left out.
Heck my 2 and 5.5 year old fight like that and I intervene right away. Granted they are younger but the point is I think my 5.5 year old feels left out a lot because my 2 year old needs so much more attention.

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