Does summertime make you nostalgic and remind you of fun times when you were younger? Us too! However, summertime also reminds us of knockdown, drag out fights with our brothers and sisters too. Now that we’re parents, we find ourselves wondering how our parents managed those long summer days with a house full of kids fighting!
Summer comes with so many fun activities and memories, but it can also be a big source of time and energy trying to break up fights or stop your children from fighting. How do we manage it all? How can we continue to make those fun summertime memories, without wasting the summer playing referee between our children? Here are a few tips to help with sibling fighting.
from: Mom it Forward
Single The Out
Letting your children know, on a personal and individual level, what you love and appreciate about them can help them feel a sense of belonging, which can eventually help them feel calm and confident in themselves. Try to keep things balanced, but this doesn’t mean the exact same for each child. Try to meet each child’s individual needs. Do your best to create one-on-one time with each child during the week.
from: Chicken Scratch Diaries
Don’t Try to Stop Every Fight
Not only is this exhausting for you, it also doesn’t allow your children to figure out how to resolve problems on their own. While there are times for parents to intervene, try to give your children the tools and space to work on resolving issues on their own. This may mean you ignore a fight between your children, which is fine as long as no one is being physical.
If you need to step in, or you can’t stand the constant fighting, give your children 3 warnings as opportunities to stop fighting. Once they get to 3, have them sit quietly until you are able to talk to each child. This should include all children in the fight, unless you absolutely know which child was the aggressor. During a fight, don’t expect your older children to be more mature. All you children are still learning, growing, and getting a handle on emotions.
from: That Home Bird Life
Don’t Pick Sides
If your children are fighting, and you’ve decided it is time to intervene, stay calm and let them do the talking. Let each of your children have the time to explain themselves and their feelings. Don’t place blame, but try to encourage your children to work towards solving their problem.
If it is necessary for you to step in and help de-escalate the situation, try giving a play-by-play of the situation. This way you are allowing each child to feel heard and the children are able to try to problem solve on their own. Choosing a side, before knowing exactly what is happening, can unknowingly cause a “bully-victim” situation.
from: Studious Guy
Help your children learn to work together and support each other. This can include attending siblings activities or modeling positive behavior. Always try to reinforce your children when they are getting along, helping each other, or resolving conflicts together. Try to use positive reinforcement like “I love how you congratulated your sister” or “please speak nicely to each other” rather than “stop yelling.”
from: She Knows
Structure within your home and schedule can help children feel more calm and give them more tolerance for their siblings. This doesn’t mean the entire day, each day of summer, needs to be planned to the minute. Rather, help your children understand your expectations or plans for the day. Even just a loose schedule of what to expect during the day can help your child feel more in control of what is going on around them.
Try to have family meetings in advance to give your children a heads up on plans and expectations. While you and your partner may be incharge, your children can’t read your mind. Letting them in on what is planned can help them feel confident and involved, even if it is just filling them in on what to expect.
Siblings are bound to fight, and fighting becomes more common in the summer months when kids are spending more time together at home. Understanding why your children are fighting can help you decide the best way to remedy the situation. Some reasons could include: boredom, jealousy, stress, adjusting to new things, age differences, a desire for exclusive parental approval. Find what works best for your family and go for it! Enjoy your summer and make memories with your children!