Patented Q & A Database


My children seem to fight all the time; the more I get involved, the worse it gets.


Mark Viator Replied: I am sure that you feel frustrated with your children's constant fighting even with the efforts that you make. While fighting among siblings will occur, one thing to focus on is the cause of the fight. Do they keep fighting for the same reason, such as one of them picking on the other or not doing their share of the chores. If you know some of the causes, then you can create some clear boundaries and expectations for their behavior. Let them know that fighting will not be tolerated. Tell them that in our home, everyone respects each other, and if the fighting continues to occur for any of these reasons, then there will be consequences. Be sure to have some strong consequences like lose of weekend privileges or no video games. It is important that you also teach your children negotiation skills. Sometimes lashing out in anger and frustration occurs because that is all a person feels they know how to do. Work on teaching your children how to respect, cooperate, and communicate with each other and be sure to reward these positive behaviors as they occur.
Posted On 2004-04-04 20:46:57
Beverly Willett Replied: If your involvement makes things worse, that's your answer - step aside and let your children work things out alone. Children can only learn compromise and conflict resolution through experience. If you step in, you might prolong this inevitable learning process. (Of course, if physical harm or inappropriate language is involved, it's your duty to step in and set ground rules.) Wanting to help is natural, but staying out of the fight doesn't mean you're powerless. When things calm down, encourage your children to talk about what happened and gently suggest ways they can avoid escalation next time - taking a deep breath, walking away, etc. Praise them if they handle things better next time. And since kids emulate their parents, don't forget to set a good example in how you deal with others.
Posted On 2004-04-04 20:30:43
Judith App-Winter Replied: You've just found your own solution. You said that the fighting gets worse when you get involved. So don't get involved in the fighting unless the situation is escalating to the point where you fear for a child's safety or well-being. Sibling rivalry is normal, and children need to learn how to resolve their own battles. They can't do that if you keep stepping in the ring with them. When a battle is over, sit down with your children and discuss what just happened and encourage them to find ways to resolve their differences in a more positive and respectful way.
Posted On 2004-04-04 20:08:00
Sally Goldberg, Ph.D. Replied: Set up expectations for behavior. Talk to your children early in the day every day about how you expect them to work out their differences peacefully. Then explain a consequence that will occur if they do not do this. This process teaches responsibility. They will either decide to follow the rules you have set up and enjoy the natural flow of pleasant conditions, or they will decide not to follow the rules and then experience the consequence. During this process, they will learn to work out their differences. When they cannot work them out, let them know you are there to help. You can teach them skills for handling this particular type of situation.
Posted On 2004-04-04 19:47:15
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