Kids keep fighting?

Simple Parenting Techniques That Work

1. When the sibling rivalry progresses to excessive physical or verbal violence OR when the number of incidents of rivalry becomes excessive, take action. (Action does speak louder than words). Talk with your children about what is going on. Provide suggestions on how they can handle the situation when it occurs, such as:

Ignoring the teasing.
Simply agreeing (in a kidding way) that whatever the teaser is saying is true.
Telling the teaser that enough is enough.
When these measures aren’t working, ask the person in charge (parent, babysitter) for help.

2. When the above does not work, introduce a family plan to help with the situation that provides negative and positive consequences for all concerned, such as:

When there is any fighting or shouting, all involved will have a consequence such as a timeout or the temporary removal of screentime.
However, when we can go the whole day or afternoon or evening (whatever makes sense for your situation) without fighting, everyone will earn a privilege such as (1) you can have a snack, (2) I will read you a story, (3) we will all play a game together, (4) I will play outside with you (catch, etc.) or (5) you can stay up later. (Note that several of these provide parental attention for appropriate behavior).

3. Develop a system for evenly distributing coveted privileges. In other words, a system for taking turns for such things as:

  • Who gets to ride “shotgun” in the car. (It’s amazing how many teenagers and young adult siblings still make this an important issue).
  • Who gets to push the button in the elevator.
  • Who gets to choose where to go to eat lunch or dinner.
  • Who gets to chose the television show.
  • Who does the dishes or takes out the trash (rotate on a weekly or monthly basis).

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