Kids can fight over absolutely ANYTHING and that’s not an exaggeration – it’s not uncommon to hear mums at the park complain about how their kids fight over whose imaginary friend is stronger! Fights for the TV remote, a Disney mug or plate or even a specific spot at the dinner table are everyday events and the yelling and screaming can drive you crazy. You might make your kids take a timeout in separate corners of the house but that doesn’t solve the problem; by the end of the timeout, they are ready to pick up right where they left off. The good news is that there are ways to stop these petty squabbles and encourage your kids to get along with each other.
Here\’s The 6 Sure-fire ways to stop sibling squabbles:
1. Separate them for 15 minutes or until they calm down
How often do you feel overwhelmed by your emotions (and that’s after decades of learning to control them); keep that in mind the next time your kids start yelling at each other. Yelling is often a sign that your kids are overwhelmed by their emotions so separate them for a little while so that they have time to calm down. This also gives them time to think about why they are upset and they will be able to express themselves in a calm manner once their timeout is over.
2. Stay Calm and encourage them to vocalize their feelings
Yelling at your kids to stop yelling at each other is not going to work – if you can’t control your emotions, you can’t possibly expect them to manage it. Instead of telling your kids to stop fighting, ask each of them to tell the other exactly why they are upset or angry. Make sure that they don’t resort to name calling but instead coach them in expressing their emotions. You may need to act as the intermediary in the beginning to make sure that both kids get a chance to talk. Once their conflict resolution skills improve, you can take a step back and only intervene when necessary.
3. Hold hands until they can stop quarrelling
In cases where separating them doesn’t work, try bringing them closer together. When your kids’ argument starts to escalate, make them sit down together and hold hands. They are not allowed to talk to each other and have to sit in complete silence until they calm down and are ready to resolve the issue. Once you notice that this method is working, all you need to do the next time they start fighting is ask them if they need to hold hands and the bickering will stop immediately!
4. Schedule daily activities that they can do on their own
Elder siblings complain that they get annoyed because the younger ones follows them everywhere while the younger ones complains that their elder siblings ignore them. A simple way to give your children a little alone time is to schedule activities that they can do separately. Your younger child can spend an hour coloring while your elder one works on a simple craft project. This alone time acts as a pressure valve for negative emotions as it gives them the time and space they need to get a handle on their emotions.
5. Make one-on-one plans with your kids
Parental attention is one of the main causes for sibling rivalry. Elder children often feel eclipsed by their younger siblings while younger kids feel that they are small and therefore not heard. The best way to avoid this pitfall is to schedule one-on-one time with each of them. For instance, when your elder child goes for music lessons, you can have ‘coloring time’ with your younger one. Similarly, when your husband bathes your younger one, you and your elder child can enjoy ‘bake time’ together.
6. Give them puzzles to encourage problem-solving skills
Give your kids a puzzle to solve together – they might argue a little at first but they will soon focus on working together to solve the puzzle. This is a simple way to get your kids to interact with each other in a positive manner and learn to work together. Make sure that you praise both of them for a job well done and use it to explain how they can accomplish their goals by working together rather than fighting with each other. Give them a reward as well as this will validate their accomplishment and help to strengthen their bond.
According to parenting experts at Whattoexpect.com, one of the best ways to put an end to sibling rivalry is to teach kids to solve their problems by themselves and only turn to you when they can’t manage it. These problem solving skills will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
This is a Guest Post written By: Anita Fernandes
A prolific writer in the health and nutrition space for over a decade. She has special expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss, having contributed content for a variety of leading digital health publishers including What To Expect and Everyday Health, among others. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome eating disorders and obesity. She shares her experiences and learning, in an effort to help others overcome physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.