Bickering: Ten tips for dealing with arguments

Bickering: Peace BlocksAll 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

  1. 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
  2. If you cannot bear it, leave the room or send them out into the garden.
  3. Intervene if you think they are going to hurt one another
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Communicate clearly what you want  – saying be good is too general we need to be specific about how we would like them to behave.
  7. 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
  8. Ensure you have consequences – if fighting occurs over what television programme to watch it get turned off.
  9. Avoid taking sides – it is a mine field to work out who started it etc. Give both parties consequences.
  10. 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.

 

1 Comment

  • I absolutely agree with all the points. I used to work in a child developmental center, I worked with 4-6 y.o. kids and there were 6 of them in the group. When we were going to play a game they always argued about who will start, everyone wanted to be the first. First time I decided who will be and they were not always satisfied with my decisions. And then I came up with an idea to offer them to reach agreement on their own. I just closed my mouth and was watching them. The result was impressive. I was pleased that they managed to do that, they became closer to each other and began to respect each other. The only way out they came up with was to play taking turns. And it worked! They were not offended because they were aware of their mistakes and it was interesting for them – they felt responsibility. And one more tip I can share with you that worked with those kids: if two kids couln’t reach agreement they asked a third kid to decide who will start. And that one who lost wasn’t happy but he agreed calmly and obediently. Hope this will help! :-)

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