How to stop siblings from fighting? As parents, we know that disagreements between siblings happen all the time. When those disagreements turn into constantly fighting kids, however, it quickly becomes a nightmare.
Your stress rises. Your energy is zapped. And all you want to do is scream, “STOP FIGHTING!!”
But as difficult as it may be, a patient and calming presence is crucial in these situations. After all, children aren’t born with conflict resolution skills. They need to learn those skills just like any other.
And who better to teach them than you? To help you with that, let’s take a look at five tips for how to stop siblings from fighting.
1Help Your Children Work Together
One of the most effective tips for how to stop siblings from fighting is to give your children the opportunity to work out their conflicts on their own.
It’s important to realize that this doesn’t mean to tell your kids to “work it out yourselves” and move on with your day.
Instead, it’s an approach that requires you to work with them to establish collaborative problem-solving skills. A great way to do this is by teaching them the concept of a win/win situation.
For example, let’s say both siblings are fighting because they each want to play a different game. You can teach them to resolve this conflict by showing them that they can create benefits for both sides.
In this situation, the siblings might agree that they’ll play one of the games first (for 30 minutes) and play the second game after (for 45 minutes to an hour). This creates a win/win situation while also teaching them the concept of making sacrifices.
2Focus on Respect
The foundation of how to stop to siblings from fighting with each other is respect.
If siblings don’t respect each other, they’re not going to get along. Here’s a few tips for helping you teach your kids to respect one another:
● Invite Siblings to Help Each Other. Whether it be helping with a chore, getting them a drink, or cleaning up their room, creating opportunities for siblings to help each other allows them to realize that they can accomplish more together than they can on their own.
● Teach Them to Understand That They’re Different. It’s important that your children understand that it’s ok to disagree and that their interests/desires/opinions will often be different than their siblings. What isn’t ok, however, is for them to yell or name call because of these disagreements.
● Help Them Have Fun Together. Create games and opportunities where both siblings’ interests align. Whether it be a board game or a sport, put them in a position to have fun together as often as possible.
Ultimately, teaching kids to respect their siblings is the basis for developing a long-term solution for how to stop two siblings from fighting.
3Don’t Be The Judge
Attempting to be the judge of each conflict, and choosing someone to be at fault, is exhausting and can cause resentment when one sibling feels that they were not treated fairly.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid being the judge unless you’ve actually seen and heard the entirety of what went on between the two siblings.
Even then, teaching your children the proper way to work out their issues on their own will help them establish a respect for each other that will be allow them to consistently play in peace.
4Work Them Through Scenarios When Everyone is Calm
In most cases, the best time to talk about the scenarios that caused a sibling fight is after the fact (when everyone has calmed down).
In the heat of the moment, children are often only worried about their side of the story. They don’t want to hear about what they need to do differently or how they were wrong.
Teach them that, if they can’t work it out on their own, that they should simply walk away from the situation and allow themselves and their sibling to calm down.
Once things have settled down, take them aside and show them how they solve the disagreement in a more respectful and productive way.
5Praise Them When They Play Well Together
Positive reinforcement is a major tool at your disposal when trying to teach new behaviours to your children.
While it’s easy to simply expect that your children will get along and play nicely, the reality is that some bickering and fighting is normal.
By letting them know that you’re proud of them for playing nice together when you see it happening, you’re providing the positive reinforcement that can encourage that behaviour in the future.
Understanding how to stop siblings from fighting starts with the realization that this is a learning experience for your children.
Armed with the tips above, you should now have all the ammunition you need to guide your children through this learning experience. Good luck!