While it may be common and possibly inevitable for brothers and sisters to fight, it most certainly is not always pleasant for other members of the family – especially the older ones. Most adults have little patience and can only tolerate a certain amount of conflict. But regardless of this fact, one should not lose one’s cool in the face of situations like this. So if they can’t yell and bark orders at the fighting party, what then should they do? I’ll tell you;
What To Do When Kids Fight
Whenever possible, don’t get involved. Step in only if there’s a danger of physical harm. If you always intervene, you risk creating other problems. The kids may start expecting your help and wait for you to come to the rescue rather than learning to work out the problems on their own. There’s also the risk that you – inadvertently – make it appear to one child that another is always being ‘protected’, which could foster even more resentment. By the same token, rescued kids may feel that they can get away with more because they’re always being ‘saved’ by a parent.
If you’re concerned by the language used or name-calling, it’s appropriate to correct kids about expressing what they feel by using appropriate words only. This is different from intervening or stepping in and separating the kids.
Separate kids until they’re calm. Sometimes it’s best just to give them space for a little while and not immediately rehash the conflict. Otherwise, the fight can escalate again. If you want to make this a learning experience, wait until the emotions have died down.
Don’t put too much focus on figuring out which child is to blame. It takes two to fight – anyone who is involved is partly responsible.
Next, try to set up a ‘win-win’ situation so that each child gains something. When they both want the same toy, perhaps there’s a game they could play together instead.
Remember, as kids cope with disputes, they also learn important skills that will serve them for life – like how to value another person’s perspective, how to compromise and negotiate, and how to control aggressive impulses.
On a final note, even if you only have the intention of encouraging them to resolve the crisis themselves, you should try to resolve problems with your them, not for them. Because the latter will only result in taking sides.
This topic is pretty elaborate and engaging. Therefore, we are far from finished… Watch out because Issue #4 will be upon us in no time! Meanwhile, if you missed the previous issue, you can always check them out here – Issue #1 | Issue #2