Screaming kids got you down? Does every situation among your not-of-legal-agesters end up in a fight?
Perhaps you’ve recently found yourself having one of those June Cleaver moments where you look into the mirror and say, “If only they could get along, everything would be just swell.” OK, OK, that reference is a bit of a throwback, but I just had to do it! Check out the Google Images of June for some real fun!
Now, back to the brawling already in progress…
If you’re looking for solutions to stop sibling rivalry and fighting, or would just like your children to be nicer to one another, consider your role in the equation.
I know many parents suspect that they have something to do with all the fighting, but they simply can’t figure out what that something is. Well, here it is – your kids are often fighting FOR YOU. Hard to believe, but true nonetheless. As parents, we have a lot to do with the fighting that goes on between our kids.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at a few scenarios with insights. Tell me if these sound familiar or make sense to you:
If you leave the room when the kids are fighting, do they follow you?
- If the kids were really involved in the fight, they wouldn’t care where you are in the house. The fact that they follow you around proves that they are looking for an audience. Without one, what’s the point of the fight?
Do the kids tell on each other when the fight has ended?
- That means only one thing – the kids want you involved. Have you ever noticed that the minute you start asking about the details, the fight seems to start again, and now YOU are upset and yelling?
Do the kids demand that you punish one or the other for causing the fight?
- Kids want to draw you into their fighting and have you pick your favorite. Of course, they have to relay the whole fight back to you so that you get all the details and make the right call. Now you’re really involved – those clever kids!
Do the kids yell loudly enough for you to hear?
- Kids are yelling for you, making sure you can hear every word they say. After all, they want to make sure you know who the “bad” child is so you can punish him properly.
If you offered them ice cream, would they stop the fighting?
- Let’s face it. In such cases, the kids are not REALLY fighting. And, whatever it was that got them going, it certainly wasn’t worth losing ice cream over. They may be bored, and are most certainly trying to engage you, but they’re not really fighting.
Still not sure whether any of this is pertains to what’s happening in your household? Take the next few days and ask yourself the questions listed above as your children are fighting. The answers you discover will provide you with valuable information about where to start to help your children decide to stop fighting.
As parents, we do the best we can with the information we have. The simple fact is, at times, we need new information to keep up with a constantly changing playing field. If your children are fighting, this may be the perfect time to get that new perspective for yourself and your family.
The Parenting On Track™ Home Program gives you a chance to look at challenging situations like sibling rivalry in a new way. Then, we encourage and support you as you develop the most logical, common-sense strategies for YOUR family. Let’s face it, no two families are alike, so no two strategies will work for every family.
Here’s an example of a few strategies that may fit your unique family dynamic. They’re all focused on empowering your children to interact differently with each other:
- Whenever possible – ignore the fighting.
- Find other ways to acknowledge your kids that have nothing to do with their fighting.
- Switch your focus. Comment – don’t praise – when they are doing something positive.
These, and many other Parenting On Track strategies, can help you to eliminate the fighting in your house. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. Just understanding that the fighting is not necessarily about them, it’s about you, is a great first step towards household harmony!