Can’t We All Just Get Along
By Stephanie Falcone
Are you tired of your children fighting? Do you feel like it is a constant battle zone in your house? Sibling rivalry is a ruthless issue in many homes, but by addressing it correctly, you can put an end to it. I'm here to help! Follow these five steps to a more peaceful home:
Sibling fights often occur because of the feeling of being provoked. It is almost as if they live to instigate each other (or at least that's what it seems like). Well this is where you as a parent, and authority figure, need to jump in. Set boundaries. In order for the children to stop bickering, a rule needs to be set and enforced by you as an adult. This way, the children will not resort to arguing over the other taking a video game from without permission.
Children, especially at a young age, believe very strongly about their beliefs and possessions. If a video game of theirs is missing, they will not hesitate to make a scene because they are overflowing with frustration. Most cases, children are not grown enough to deal with their emotions in a constructive manner. "My way or the highway," is a typical mind state of a child. This is where boundaries come in. Enforce the rules of the house and make no exceptions. Exceptions will only instigate more bickering. Put your foot down.
2) STOP OR GO
When to walk away is a valuable lesson to teach your child from the very start. This will benefit them from the elementary school playground to a business meeting at work as an adult. Yes, standing up for yourself is a crucial part of life, but sometimes, it is best to simply bite your tongue. Point out to your children when the right time to stand your ground is. Address the siblings raising their voice back and forth, pointing out how the constant fighting will accomplish nothing. Encourage them to walk away at times instead of trying to always one up the other sibling. You can go go go and try and "win" the fight, but the best option (and quietest) is to stop, say sorry, and walk away.
3) PAT ON THE BACK
Nothing good goes unnoticed, or at least that's what they say. Don't forget to praise your child's good behavior. If no reward comes from walking away, why would they continue listening and trying to please you? Reward your child if he attempts to positively resolve a fight with their sibling… they're growing up!
Just the word will make them cringe. Along with setting boundaries, consequences need to be enforced. If your children are physically harming one another or stealing each other's belongings, it is important to teach them that is unacceptable behavior. Taking away toys or grounding is common… I'm sure you can think of something creative! In order to learn, one must pay for their mistake.
Children are not familiar with managing their own emotions and that is why this tip is so helpful. Teach your children how to cope with their angry or frustration. Otherwise, they will go about it in ways they
think is best… and we all know… it is not best. They need guidance and you are just the person to add control to their little life. Talk to your children.
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