Do you have a house full of fighting and complaining children? Do you feel even your best efforts are not giving many results when it comes to restoring some sibling peace in the house? If you are a harried mother of fighting siblings, we are here to help! Read on to find out how you can stop siblings fighting and instead bring some much-needed love and peace in your house.
How To Stop Sibling Fighting?
Here are a few practical tips on how to stop sibling fighting, that you can follow:
1. Start The Bonding Process Before The Birth Of The Second Child:
Your first born will enjoy your undivided attention as an only child, but all that will end as you have another baby. It is important to start the bonding process between your first born and second child even before the birth.
Tell your child about the baby that is going to join your family soon.
Show different pictures of babies with siblings and happy families with older children and babies. Share books with your child t
Bring out those old family albums and baby book and show your child how the first few months and years were. If your child is too young to understand, just show him images of himself as a new baby. Tell him that he will soon get a new baby to play with and love.
[ Read: Ways To Deal With Sibling Rivalry ]
2. Show Your Older Child That He Is Important:
Once you make your older child feel important, he will feel less threatened by the new arrival.
Keep a few gifts ready for your older child in the house, things that you know he likes. You can hand these to your older child when visitors come to visit your new baby but forget to get something for the older one.
Let your older child open up the presents for your younger one. You can let him play a bit with the toys first, before handing it over to the younger one.
Tell your older child that he is important and helps you take care of the baby so much better. You can involve your older child in caring for the younger one by seeking his help for simple tasks, like selecting the younger one’s clothes, taking a bath himself and so on. Make sure the tasks are age-appropriate.
3. Understand Each Child’s Individual Needs:
Something that may seem right to one of your children may look extremely unfair to the other one. It is important that you give due importance to the individual needs of your children.
Listen to your children’s complaints on a one-on-one basis. If required, you can speak to them alone, away from the other sibling. It will help reassure them, and they will share their concerns with you better.
Understand what is causing the negativity and the fights. Is one sibling bullying the other one? Does one sibling feel left out and mistreated? Is there any jealousy or sibling rivalry between the two children? Does your child feel you love the other child more?
You may not agree to what your child feels, but do acknowledge their feelings. Show them you care and that you understand. Tell them you are sorry if they felt this way but go on to give them your side of the story too. Make sure you speak in such a way that your child understands what you are saying.
[ Read: Child Psychology ]
4. Teach Your Children How To Call A Truce:
You or your partner may not always be around to sort out the differences that your children have. It is important to teach your children how they can sort out things mutually.
Sit down with your children and talk about strategies that can help them cool down.
Talk about what makes them angry and what makes them feel better, especially when they are fighting with each other.
Make a list of all the things they can do to let off steam during a fight. A few options you can enlist for the same are– going off to another room, cleaning up the bookshelf or toy cupboard, taking a bath, watering the plants, etc. Remember that all activities have to be age-appropriate.
[ Read: Moral Development In Children ]
5. Make Punishments Or Timeouts Equal For All Children:
You may have to resort to punishments and timeouts occasionally to end the fight between your children.
Make sure you enforce equal rules for all your children.
Tell your children that no matter whoever starts the fight, you will punish all children equally if there is any quarrel.
Help your children practice the cooling off techniques. Ask them to walk off from the fight, even if they did not start it. Knowing that you will punish anyone who quarrels will make them quit fighting faster.
[ Read: Jealousy In Kids ]
6. Spend Exclusive Time With All Your Children On A Daily Basis:
You may be caught up in your daily grind. However, it is important to ensure you spend enough quality time with each of your children on an individual basis each day.
Take time out for all your children one by one. If you feel you do not have a lot of free time on hand, reduce the amount of time, but make sure you still spend time with each one.
If you do not have enough time to sit and talk, involve your child in something you are doing. If one of your children is interested in cooking or helping in the kitchen, talk with him while he helps you cook. If another child is interested in gardening, try and catch up with him while tending to the plants.
Giving your undivided attention to each of your children will make them secure about your love, and they will accept their siblings better.
It is natural for siblings to go through the fighting phase before they can truly understand their love for each other. Show your children how they are important for each other and how they can participate in various fun activities together. Love your children equally to help them feel secure.
Do you know any other tips to stop sibling fighting? Please share it with other moms here.
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