An unending struggle and maybe our biggest woe, when siblings fight it’s a tough one. How do you get them to stop? How do you get them to respect each other? Listen to each other? Effectively communicate with one another? And how does Mom avoid feeling like a referee in a ten-hour fighting match?
According to our #Momforce by Chatbooks Facebook group, fighting siblings is the biggest problem moms face on a daily basis. But our #momforce also gave us some great tips on what they do to help keep their kids from bickering day in and day out. Of course, every child is different, so what works for some won’t work for others. Nevertheless, here are some ideas that we really liked.
Chart their success. Make a chart for your child and mark each day they make it without a fight. At the end of a week (or ten days if you feel like pushing your luck), let them earn a reward for not fighting with their siblings. Kids love to have a visual when it comes to their success. Being able to see their progress helps them reach for their rewards.
Start each day on the sunny side. Every morning, sit down with your child(ren) and ask them, “What kind of a day is today going to be? Is it going to be a happy day? If so, what things do we need to do to make sure it stays a happy day?” Giving them an opportunity to premeditate and visualize how their day is going to go helps empower them throughout the day to make choices that will serve them best.
Take a time-in. Instead of doing time-outs, do time-ins. Sometimes kids are acting out and fighting because they need a little extra love and attention from us. So, instead of sending them to their room in isolation, give them a hug, talk through the situation, and spend a few minutes showing them how much you love and care for them.
Even though siblings fighting is exhausting for everyone, it is often where much learning takes place. It’s within these family relationships that our kids learn boundaries and how to set their own. This is also when they start to learn how to work through problems and ask themselves important questions like: When I hit does that get them to stop? When I scream do they keep playing with me? When I calmly use my words and talk it out do they listen to me?
Kids are always paying attention, and these initial battles will help prepare them for successful confrontations as they grow. You’ve got this, mama! Sure, it’s tough right now, but in a few years they’ll be best friends and have each other’s backs like no one else.