7 Smart Ways to Handle Sibling Fights
Chronic violence within the family is an extremely painful thing that steals harmony, health and turns the life of all family members into torture. If you are a parent of more than one child, then there is a high probability that you have at least once seen your children fighting.
Why do these small and, at first glance, pure-hearted angels fight? As all adults, children make constant attempts to win attention, spheres of influence and respect. They often make big mistakes and stay in front of each other, because they do not know how to defend their interests correctly.
The only ones, who can solve these family problems, are parents. But it is crucially important to take these problems seriously and treat carefully because sometimes your attempts to determine who is right or wrong can only worsen the situation. Here is how to handle sibling fights correctly.
1. Stop the fight and help them calm down
Every time you notice your kids fighting, you should stop it immediately. Otherwise, your kids can lose all conscious control and seriously damage each other. Before you start talking about what has happened, squat down a little bit in order to be head-to-head with your kids.
If you look down on them during the conversation, they may find your words judgmental and insincere. Do not use the words that can hurt their feelings and make them withdraw into themselves. These actions will help you stop and resolve the conflict in a smart and peaceful way.
2. Do not take the sides in a conflict
Keep in mind that equality should always be a priority in the process of resolving the conflict. As much as you would like to, resist the temptation to act like a judge and divide the responsibility between your kids.
No matter how hard you try, you will find it difficult to find the truth or identify the root of the conflict, if you have not witnessed the situation before. Calling names and condemnation are harmful educational measures that usually plant guilt, resentment, and negative views in the minds of children. Make it a rule to punish both sides of the conflict or none.
3. Teach your kids to reach mutually beneficial compromises
If your kids tend to resolve interpersonal issues through violence, you should try to explain to them that fighting is a very dangerous activity that can only be used in self-defense. But at the same time, it is necessary to emphasize that making permanent concessions is a bad idea as well because it can seriously damage the self-esteem of your child.
They should know that the best, civilized way out of almost all disputes and the golden mean between fighting and swallowing the pride is a compromise. But it should be reached on mutually beneficial conditions.
There is a high probability that your children will not be able to reach a compromise because they do not have even the remotest idea how to do it correctly. As a parent, you should do your best to steer their conversation in the right direction.
Read also – 10 Things You Should Never Say to Your Daughter
4. Provide an outlet for your kids’ anger
If it seems that your children are full of energy, you should think of an interesting and natural way to vent their feelings in a safe manner. For example, you can get a punching bag somewhere in your house and tell your kids that this bag is the only thing that can be beaten in a moment of rage.
If a punching bag does not suit your situation, you can give your kids a pillow fight, in case your pillows are not heavy and hard like stones. This unbelievably joyous activity will shift the kids’ focus from the conflict to a fun game and help them release their negative emotions. These energy outlets are important, because they clean the mind, soothe the soul and thus get your kids ready for a healing and conciliatory discussion.
5. Regard their anger and hatred towards each other with understanding
As a parent, I understand that it is very painful to hear your children swearing and vilifying each other, but you should realize that your strict educational measures and moral teaching can only freeze the conflict and antagonize its participants. The smart decision is to demonstrate wisdom and compassion in such a complicated situation.
If your son says that for one reason or another he hates his brother, you should listen to his inner pain carefully and tell him that you understand his anger. It may sound a bit strange, but compassion usually defuses difficult situations and puts an end to negative feelings. You should help your child reinterpret the conflict and tell them that it is better to make their sentiments known to their sibling without raising a hand.
6. Praise your kids for behaving well
If you strive to reduce the frequency of your kids’ battles, try to praise them from time to time. It is better to do it when you see them getting quite well. Plus, you can take some pictures of their peaceful and friendly communication.
A bit later, you will have an opportunity to print these meaningful pictures and hang them on the wall. They will always remind your children that peace, love, respect and friendliness are the main priorities of your family. Your parental encouragement will help them realize and accept it a little bit faster.
7. Set a good example for your children
If both you and your spouse prefer to sort out your relationship and offend each other in front of your children, then the tips mentioned above will never move the situation off dead center, until you put an end to the violence in the home.
Whether we want it or not, but children absorb all negative stuff happening in our families and unintentionally copy the behavior and habits of their parents. As soon as you learn how to make compromises and resolve conflicts in a civilized manner, your children will acknowledge your authority and follow your lead. It will always be like that because parents are role models.
It is difficult to be a parent because parenthood often makes us act like judges, teachers, sages, mentors and friends. I hope these pieces of advice will help you solve the problem of a family feud among siblings once and for all.