- April 29, 2012
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When you have more than one child it is absolutely inevitable that they will fight and argue. Personally I think that these sibling quarrels are very important. How else can kids safely learn how to have a disagreement once they grow up?
When my kids begin their ritualistic arguing I do my best to not get involved. Don’t let me mislead you, actual physical fighting is not allowed. Neither is name calling, or anything mean! I will jump in and regulate as needed, but for the most part I try to allow my kids to work things out on their own. I want them to learn some conflict resolution skills, and they will never get that if they don’t have any conflict in their lives. I will mediate when they ask me to, and I keep a watchful eye to ensure things go fairly. For example, I don’t let my oldest simply strong arm her little brothers. Honestly, now that my middle child is getting older she can’t really strong arm him anymore anyway. I know it sounds ridiculous, but we have set up “fair fight rules” for our home.
I try to allow my kids to work things out on their own. I want them to learn some conflict resolution skills, and they will never get that if they don’t have any conflict in their lives.
Since we have implemented them our fighting has gone down. Sometimes I think kids just need to test their boundaries a little. Even with their siblings. So by defining the rules of what is acceptable, (no hitting, biting, or pushing for example) our kids can work things out on their own. My son has learned how to express what he wants, or doesn’t, and my daughter has learned a side of patience. These things were totally unexpected, but I consider them a happy bonus to the overall goal of teaching them basic conflict resolution skills.
So give it a shot next time your kids start bickering. Resist the urge to jump in and see what happens. They might surprise you!