My Kids Are Fighting: How Should I Handle It? | Salma Safira Sukma from BehaviorPALS Center| Kinderkloud

My Kids Are Fighting: How Should I Handle It?

siblings

Sibling conflicts are common and it is normal as children can have differences, changes of needs, and they are still learning to control their emotions. Even siblings with the best relationships still have disagreements from time to time. Conflicts can be a good opportunity for your children to learn how to solve problems constructively, negotiate, and make a decision. It can also help your children see and respect other’s point of views as well as feelings. However, disagreement can sometimes lead to physical fights which can be dangerous. Therefore, it is important that parents know what to do when their children are arguing before anyone gets hurt. 

Below are several ways that you can do to handle conflicts between  your children: 

1. Know when to step in

When your children are having disagreements, you can give them a chance to work things out by themselves, so you don’t always have to step in. This will also be helpful to show your kids that they can’t always rely on you everytime they have an argument. However, when you notice that your children start to yell or if they look like they are ready to fight, then you need to break them up before it gets worse and they get hurt. This includes if your toddler starts pushing their sibling over a toy. Make it clear that aggression, especially physical, is never a way to solve problems. 

2. Not making things worse

It is very important that you don’t make negative comparisons between your children or try to point out who is to blame. For example, you should avoid saying “you should’ve known better” to your older child. This will only make things worse and hurt your children even more.

3. Treat your children fairly

It is also crucial to treat everyone involved fairly like listening carefully to each side without any judgment or interruption. However, being fair doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to give the exact same treatment to everyone. It might be difficult to treat your 7-year-old son the same as his 3-year-old sibling when they quarrel over a toy, so the important thing is to be understanding of their situations and be positive. 

4. Identify the cause

You can ask your children to tell you what the problem is. Encourage them to state their feelings and what they actually want instead of focusing on their sibling’s actions which make them upset. This will help you and your children to focus more about the problem and solution than just characterizing each other. Moreover, knowing the real reason for your children’s conflict will give you clues on what is the best thing to do to solve it. 

5. Teach constructive and positive problem solving

Encourage your children to see, understand, and respect others points of view as well as feelings. You can also teach them to negotiate and compromise. For older children, parents might talk or discuss the problem with them. You can ask them what they want and brainstorm about the solution together. 

 

References: 

Handling siblings fight. (2020, November 23. Raising Children Network Australia. Retrieved March 9, 2023 from https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/family-life/siblings/handling-fights

Lee, K. (2020, November 16). 8 ways to effectively manage sibling fighting and rivalry. Verywell Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/solutions-for-sibling-fighting-and-rivalry-620104

Sibling rivalry. (2023). KidsHealth. Retrieved March 9, 2023 from https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sibling-rivalry.html 

Why children and siblings fight. (2020, November 23). Raising Children Network Australia. Retrieved March 9, 2023 from https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/family-life/siblings/why-children-fight

 

By: Salma Safira Sukma Ikhsani, S.Psi. from BehaviorPALS

children, kids, fighting, conflict, handling, parents

Children 4 Years - 6 Years / 4 Tahun - 6 Tahun / Parenting / Pola Asuh / Family / Keluarga / My Kids Are Fighting: How Should I Handle It?

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