Parenting Courses Stockport
couples counselling; depression; bereavement; anxiety
Stop Your Kids Fighting
By Supernanny Team 21/01/2009
“Your kids fight?” people ask Judy Arnall incredulously, when I’m presenting a parenting workshop. “Of course!” she answers. “Every person in a love relationship fights.”
Every relationship has conflict – it’s normal and inevitable to disagree. However, the determining factor in the quality of the relationship is how the fights get resolved. Conflict happens between spouses, partners, relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, group members, governments, countries and everyone else. Why would the sibling relationship be different? You know it’s going to happen. But like many things in parenting, it’s better to know what you are dealing with and have some planned strategies to try.
First, know that there are basically four types of sibling conflict and that each is driven by an underlying feeling – because most all relationship fights are generally about feelings, and not so much about the presenting issues. So the best way to deal with sibling fights is to deal head on with the feelings, rather than the issue. Here are the reasons kids fight, and what the child’s underlying feelings are…
What better way for your child to have some fun when he’s bored than to bug someone he knows is going to give him a great reaction?
Unhelpful parent strategy Ignoring the fight and punishing your child.
Helpful parent strategy Give your child a new, interesting activity that is work, fun or something to do with you or someone else. Casually separating the children also helps, but don’t make it an enforced time-out.
Your child is feeling left out, unloved, or un-noticed, and is silently screaming, “Notice me, whether negatively or positively, just notice me!”
Unhelpful parent strategy Giving negative attention in the form of a punishment, time-out, or time spent playing judge and jury.
Helpful parent strategy Avoid punishments. Ignore the fighting, but give more individual time and attention later when the fighting has subsided. Schedule a date night or time alone with just that child. Acknowledge pleasant sibling interactions when they occur.
Your child is angry because he perceives that he’s being victimized, or has feelings of frustration or injustice.
Unhelpful parent strategy Playing judge by directing who the perpetrator and victim was, and how restitution should be made, according to how you see things. Taking away fought over toys or privileges. Punishing both children regardless of the issue.
Helpful parent strategy Avoid punishments. Accept and acknowledge each child’s feelings and point of view and try to help them express it to the other child. Help them come to solutions that both agree on (help them generate the ideas rather than doing it for them). In addition, give each child input in family rule formation. Teach problem-solving skills and then coach them through the process. Teach anger management strategies and self-calming techniq...