All my kids do is fight. I don’t know what to do. Do I intervene or let them fight it out???
Look, siblings are like roommates who never chose each other. Sometimes it will be cool, other times not so cool.
As for the “stay-out-of-it-or-get-into-it” – As I always say, you are there to mentor. If your kids are fighting they need help, so help them.
Go and ask them what the problem is:
“You guys sound mad, what’s going on?”
“She is using that too long and I want it.”
“Well, she IS using it. You can ask if you can use it when she is done.”
Help them work through the problems so that, in time, they will be able to do so without assistance. I have seen it happen many times trust me, the work it WORTH it.
If the fighting continues, they may need a break from each other. Have them play in separate spaces. This can be for 15 to even 30 minutes. They are playing so they can be solo for a while. If they are happy and quiet you can keep them there. No need to poke the bear, right?
Also, the toy that they were playing with – the one that’s causing all of the fighting – can be “closed” since it’s making the kids so mad and unable to be safe and thoughtful. When you close (put away) a toy, it’s gone for at least the day. No earning it back either. When kids can earn back lost things, they learn that they can basically do whatever they want, be “good” for 15 minutes and get back what they lost. Their behavior won’t change in the long run.
I know, I know, I have heard it too: “Let ‘em work it out.” “Let them fight it out.” Ok, I’m cool with giving situations a moment to see if the kids can work it out. See what they come up with, but if the fighting continues, that’s a clear sign that they are stuck, they need help, OR they need a break from each other.
The fighting it out part, ummm… not a fan of, especially if it’s real fighting, physical or bullying behavior. No one should feel unsafe in their home. No one should be subjected to violence and fear in their own home.
Sooooo, the answer is yes, yes, please step in and mentor! Help them problem-solve, and if they can’t, have them take a break and play solo. None of us can spend 24/7 with anyone. I mean, I don’t care HOW awesome ya are, breaks are needed.
So there ya have it. Probably not the easy answer that everyone wants, but who said parenting was gonna be easy???
Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by www.childandfamilycoaching.com.