- When fighting with brothers and sisters allow them time to try and work it out themselves – we cannot always step in to help our children out
- If you cannot bear it, leave the room or send them out into the garden.
- Intervene if you think they are going to hurt one another
- With older children, we need to help them understand people hold different opinions and even different beliefs, but it’s not always a matter of right or wrong.
- As always we need to watch our behaviour as adults and ask ourselves how we resolve conflicts. If we shout and become aggressive our children will model our behaviour.
- Communicate clearly what you want – saying be good is too general we need to be specific about how we would like them to behave.
- Work on negotiation; even when they are little, if a child won’t share a toy, we can insist they take turns. It’s a good skill to develop that helps equip our children for resolving disputes with friends
- Ensure you have consequences – if fighting occurs over what television programme to watch it get turned off.
- Avoid taking sides – it is a mine field to work out who started it etc. Give both parties consequences.
- Sibling rivalry can be about attention – mum or dad will come running. It may help to have special time with each of your children – reading at bedtime, going for a walk or a special treat; there are lots of things to do. The trick is to try and find one that fits in with YOUR family.
Bickering: Ten tips for dealing with arguments
All children will at some time become professional at bickering! They will argue/fight either with siblings or with friends. It can be hard for us as parents to listen to and to help our kids learn to deal with others . There are some things we can do to help; here are a few of them