Kids arguing is like fingernails on a chalkboard. I don’t know about you, but the whining and complaining that siblings do, ranks near the top of my “most annoying scale”. So what do we do? How do we stop the fighting?
In this video, we are going to give you some tips on how you can reduce sibling rivalry. Notice I said reduce and not Stop. When you have more than one child, one of the most challenging things to deal with is their constant whining and complaining about each other.
Why can’t they just get along? I wanted to share a few tips that you can use to bring a little more peace in your home. I’m going to start with something really powerful that you need to remember. If you can only remember one thing from this video, this is it….write this one down.
#1 Stop Listening To The Whiner – Let’s say child A complains to you about something Child B is doing. “Dad, she’s teasing me”. A typical reaction is to discipline child B for teasing their sibling or saying something to the effect of “Stop teasing your sister”. Unfortunately you just taught both children that whining or complaining about the other child 1) Gets dad to step in and solve the problem and 2) allows them to get your way and 3) you might even get your sibling in trouble.
You probably wanted to teach them that teasing is not ok, but more importantly, you want to teach them how to solve the problem themselves. So instead, ask the complaining child something like, “What did your sister say when you asked her nicely to stop?” or this one is good: “I’m pretty confident that you guys would be able to solve this nicely on your own. How do you think you could solve it? You will be amazed after doing this many times how your children begin to resolve some of the conflicts on their own. Remember to stop listening to the whiner. Teach them to solve their own disagreements
#2 – Establish rules of the house – Before you can enforce rules, everyone needs to know what the rules are. Make a chart or poster so everyone can see them. You will want to focus on what to do, rather than what not to do. For example, instead of saying “No hitting” your rule might say “Hands and Feet are kept to ourselves”. Instead of “No Yelling” you might have a rule: “Talk to each other nicely”. Kids (and adults) respond better when they are told what to do, rather than told what not to do. You can always then reference the “house rules” if a rule is broken.
#3 – Stress the importance of the family – Use phrases consistently like “We are a family”, “”we are a team” “we work together, “we help each other”. These phrases promote unity and harmony. You want children to feel that they are a part of something and it’s very special.
#4 – Never compare your children – Saying “You know your brother never does that” is not a statement that should ever be said. The all time worst: “Why can’t you be more like your sister” – please don’t ever say anything remotely close to that
#5 – Be empathetic and listen – While most of the fights between them are probably trivial, there could be some bigger issues going on. Do you have the same expectations of two children that are different ages? Maybe with responsibilities around the house? Are you treating your boy and girl differently? Should you not be? Is one child truly getting less attention for some reason or another? Be sure to talk with your kids and hear what they have to say. Be empathetic and try to understand the situation from their perspective.