When your kids won’t stop fighting, you may feel like you’re ready to pull your hair out. As anyone with an online degree in diplomacy could tell you, resolving conflicts between two parties with different mindsets and views of justice is not easy. However, if you can help your children understand that their arguing is excessive and interfering with further fun, they may put aside their differences in favor of conflict resolution.
Below are four tips for getting your kids to stop fighting.
1. Explain your reasoning.
Kids who are a little bit older will be able to follow your logic. Reduce your logic to the bare minimum and walk them through it. Why do you want them to stop fighting with one another? What good will come of their cease fire? What will happen if they continue to fight? While this won’t always end the fight on a dime, explaining your reasoning will help your children develop into logical young men and women.
2. Listen to them.
While you know that you’re being fair to both your children, your kids may still feel hurt or upset. Listen to them calmly and patiently. Not only will it help your children to calm down—talking out your feelings is always a good thing—but it could also clue you in to what the real root of the problem is. When doing this, make sure that both children are in the same room when telling their side of the story. This will motivate them to think about the events that actually occurred instead of a seemingly unfair situation skewed by emotion.
3. Paint a bigger picture.
When you have two kids who are around the same age, they often think that fair means equal. Move the focus away from fairness and instead help them to see the big picture of what’s really important. For example, if your daughter wants to eat the same exact thing as her sister, even though you know she’s going to leave most of it on her plate, show her that the prize isn’t the same exact meal as her sibling but instead a dinner that she’ll love to gobble down.
4. Ask them for a solution.
When you can’t seem to get through to your kids, ask them what they think a good solution would be. This puts them in charge in a way while still making it clear that fighting isn’t an acceptable solution. Plus, if they come up with a realistic solution, they’re bound to stick to it because they thought of it themselves.
The truth is that children won’t always be happy, even if they love their sibling 99% of the time. Conflicts are a natural part of childhood and learning how to interact socially with others. Staying consistent with your tactics and praising them during the times when they are playing together nicely will help end excessive conflicts sooner rather than later.
This is a guest post written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for health, women’s interests, and parenting interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.
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