To stop your children fighting

1. Help the children sort out their own arguments.

Explain that they need to stay quiet while the other one is talking, no name-calling and if things get heated, you’ll have a break for 30 minutes.
Then ask one child to explain their point of view, without interruptions.
Then the second child has their turn.
And after each child has spoken you can write down their feelings and concerns and check you’ve understood properly.

Then give them both the chance to respond to what the other child has said – once again with no interruptions.
Ask them what they could have done differently, and what they wish the other child had done.

Then ask them both to think of as many solutions as they possibly can.
And write those down without judging their ideas.
So, that might be taking turns, asking before they borrow things, having a timer for the computer or TV, or a new rules about going into each other’s bedrooms, whatever they can think of.

Then get the children to discuss the ideas, compromise, and agree on a solution.
And finish with a handshake or a high five.

2. Don’t set them up against each other.

Instead of comparing them comment on the good things you notice about each of your children – little things they do well, or improvements you notice they’ve made.

Instead of getting them to compete if you want them both to get ready for bed, set a timer and make the challenge for them both to get ready by the time it rings. So they have to help each other.
And don’t judge them or contradict them if they sometimes get jealous or angry.

When you’re talking to them alone, rather than saying, of course, you don’t hate your brother, you mustn’t get angry when you lose a game, say something like I imagine that you’re feeling jealous that your brother came first in his race, or it looks like you found it really tough when your sister won the game.

Just acknowledging the feeling will often help calm down those strong feelings.

3. Give each of your children one-to-one attention.

It may seem like your children really hate each other, but most of the sibling rivalry is about getting your attention. And if they can’t have your good attention, they’ll fight and argue to get your negative attention. So make the decision to spend 15 minutes every day with each of your children.

  • It could be playing games with them
  • kicking a football
  • playing rough and tumble
  • reading them a story
  • Or even just talking

Anything they’d enjoy doing with you on their own.

So the 3 tips to help stop children fighting are:

  1. Help them sort out arguments,
  2. Don’t set them up against each other
  3. And give each child 15 minutes of quality time each day.

If you need more than three tips on this – or you’d like to discover the secrets you need to have happy well-behaved, children – please contact me by clicking here. You can arrange a free 20-minute (no obligation) chat to find out if working with me personally (by phone, Skype or face-to-face) would help you and your family. Contact Elizabeth

child behavioural expert
The author:

Elizabeth O’Shea is a parenting specialist child behaviour expert and one of the leading parenting experts in the UK.

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