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
- 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.
Do you have any other suggestions, do share them with us – always happy to get some more tips!
This is our regular weekly post from Parenting coach Beckie Whitehouse from Be Confident Coaching.
Photos courtesy of Microsoft Clipart.