Hearing your kids bicker and fight, back and forth, can wear anyone down. When “She took my toy!” or “I’m telling!” rings down the hallways of your home, your first instinct is to bury your head. I hope these 10 tips will help End Sibling Fighting and arguing in your home.
10 Tips To Help End Sibling Fighting
The tension that builds up due to bickering is relentless and it will certainly derail your day in an instant. Turn arguing moments into opportunities to teach your kids how to handle difficult situations.
As a mom of two pre-teen girls arguing is part of our daily life, but I’ve found some tips that have helped along the way. These tips will begin to diminish sibling arguing in your home, but being consistent is the key. Make sure that you follow them daily and slowly you will see a change in the fighting between your children change.
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What Can Parents Do Stop Sibling Fighting
In reality, the solution of getting our children to stop squabbling starts with us. We need to make sure that we are being consistent in our rules, consequences, and fairness when it comes to our children’s behavior.
Sibling arguing is normal for kids, but there are times that it can get out of hand. That’s when as parents we need to keep our temper under control and follow these tips to finally end sibling fighting in your home.
Lay Down The Rules
If you have yet to lay down the rules with your kids, take a few minutes to establish the rules of your family. Explain to your kids what the rules are and why it is important for them to be followed. Again being consistent with these rules is key for all of your children.
A great way to do this is to have a family meeting where you share the rules with your children and specific consequences when those rules are not followed. Be clear about your expectations. Kids will be kids. So, you want to make sure that the rules are understood and they know what to expect when they are not followed.
Stick To The Rules And Consequences
Do not bend, adjust, or change the rules. Stick to them so everyone takes them seriously. Set a good example for your kids and follow through with discipline when the rules are broken. For me, this is the most important step. If you bend the rules your kids will notice and they will begin the fighting once again.
This also means that as parents we need to set an example. No arguing with your spouse in front of the children, instead, find a spot where you both can have a discussion about your disagreement. I know this is hard, especially when you’ve done things the same way for so long, but if you want your children to get along. You both must do the same.
Make sure that consequences are also being followed through. When we set consequences in place for our children and don’t commit, then they know that nothing will happen when the rules are broken. Not only are we lying to them when this happens, but our trust is also broken.
I know it’s not easy to stick to consequences or rules set in the home, but after everyone knows what to expect things will begin to change. Don’t give up.
Discipline With Style
Every family disciplines their kids in their own unique way. The key to finding effective discipline is essential. The two discipline styles I have found to be most effective is to either take something away, such as a favorite toy or video game, or electronics.
You can also create a “Consequence Chore Box”. Write down chores on slips of paper and place them in a box. When one of your kids break a rule have them pick a chore to complete.
I have a fantastic free chore chart for kids with appropriate ages just by signing up for my email list!
Discipline techniques will also change as your kids get older. Timeouts may work wonders for a 3-year-old but it would have no effect on an 8-year-old. Make sure that the chore, consequence, or discipline is age-appropriate for your child.
Let Them Work It Out
This is probably the hardest one for me, but it’s one that seems to work well. When your kids start to argue do not be so quick to jump in and play referee. Encourage them to use their words, take turns talking, and use indoor voices to work things out between each other. Helping them identify a solution to the disagreements they experience with their brothers or sisters will establish great problem-resolving tools.
Stay close by just in case you need to intervene if your kids start verbally or physically fighting with each other. Your goal is for them to speak to each other calmly and share their feelings without you having to get involved. This is how you finally end sibling fighting.
It’s not about them agreeing on everything, it’s just about having the respect to listen to each other.
The reward system is great for younger children and to encourage your kids for getting along. Good behavior should be praised and rewarded. Take an extra trip to the park or make a pit stop at the ice cream shop on your way home from school.
Make sure your kids know why they are being rewarded. Have them earn that extra reward. You will be surprised what your children will do to earn this special get along rewards.
Do Not Compare Your Kids
You knew this one was coming and I will be the first to admit that I have done it more than a few times.
Comparing your kids to each other can cause them to feel insufficient. Instead of comparing them, point out what they excel at. Praise your kid’s good behavior to other people, point out how nice they were for helping bring in the groceries.
Concentrate on the good things your kids bring to the table. Negativity feeds negativity, so the more positivity you bring into your home, the more positive your kids will treat each other.
Your kids are all different and have their unique special gifts. Make sure all of your kids feel special and loved equally by you. Especially during those pre-teens and teen years. It’s easy to compare your children when it comes to behavior, grades, and attitude. Doing this can pin your kids against each other and cause more of a sibling rivalry growing up.
Treat Your Kids Fairly
It is important to not play favorites with your kids. Treat them fairly. This will help your kids create trust in a system you have created. Sibling rivalry usually begins when they feel parents are favoriting the other brother or sister. Rules are set to be fair for all of your children, not just a few.
Now, this doesn’t mean that they should be treated the same. Each of your children has different needs, different disciplining styles, and respond to differently. Knowing what works for your children is important while making sure it’s still fair for all parties in the argument.
That’s why I love reading books on parenting to help find ways to speak to my daughters fairly, yet uniquely to what they both respond to.
Spend One-On-One Time With Each Kid
Life can get hectic. Slot out a time each day to spend just a few minutes one on one with every one of your kids. This gives them the opportunity to get the attention they need from you.
I know that this may seem hard, but in reality, all it takes is five minutes before bed while they read a book to you or sit down with them while they do their homework. They will appreciate this one on one time together.
Each one of your children is different and unique in their own way. Sharing with them something that they love or are interested in will let them know how much you do care for them.
Planning a monthly schedule where you and your spouse take turns spending time with your kids individually is a great way to do something your kids love to do.
Instead of teaching your kids to compete with each other, try teaching them to be a team and work together. Set up relay races where the adults vs. the kids to help them work together.
Let them fold laundry together, work as a team to clean the yard, or have the oldest siblings help the younger ones with the homework. Not only are they learning teamwork, but it also allows the younger siblings to look up to their big brother or sister.
Listen To Your Kids
When your kids have a problem or need to share something with you, listen. Give them your undivided attention for a few minutes while they express their thoughts and feelings. Especially during an argument. Sometimes they might just want to share what is going on with you, don’t take sides. Just listen to them and allow them to work it out.
Be The Example
I’m adding an extra tip here because I truly believe that parents are the example to their children. Try not to argue with your spouse in from of the children. If they see you bickering then they see it as okay for them to do as well.
Be respectful towards each other, share your feelings, and then resolve the issue. No need to hide in a room to yell, believe me, children can still hear you. You want to show them that you can have a conversation peacefully with a solution at the end.
How Do I Stop My Kids From Fighting?
One of the most important things to remember is to keep calm while taming sibling fights or arguments. If we show our kids how to behave by setting good examples, they will follow in our footsteps. Lay down the foundation now so they can have an amazing lifelong relationship with their siblings.
Resources To Help End Sibling Fighting
- The 5 Love Languages of Children
- Parenting with Love and Logic
- Conscious Discipline
- Managing Emotional Mayhem
- Sibling Rivalry
- Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings
- Everybody Feels Angry!
- In My Heart a Book of Feelings
- When I Feel Angry
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What other tips can you share with parents?