Kids fight. It’s like those Geico commercials, “as long as villains reveal their master plans, Geico can save you money on car insurance.” It could say, “as long as villains reveal their master plans, kids will fight.” Lately in our house it is not a physical kind of fight (🙌🙌🙌), instead it’s, “you’re RUDE”, “I’m NEVER gonna PLAY with you EVER again!” or just “STOOOOOOOPPP!”. And, as irritating as it is to be woken up by these words being screamed right next to you from the monitor, I usually let it go as long as possible.
I would be lying if I didn’t say my lack of interference was partly due to exhaustion, but honestly, the thing I’ve learned: you don’t always need to intervene. At least, not right away.
When those first few bigger fights happen you should absolutely intervene. Find out from each kid what happened while the other one listens without interrupting. Then, have them say out loud what they did wrong and identify what one thing they could do next time to avoid a fight. I then ask each kid what they could say to their sibling to make it better (they almost always decide sorry is best) and ask the other if they want a hug or high-five (hugs are a lot more physical and it may be uncomfortable for one kid to give to another and that is okay!). Using this process after a few arguments – a few as in 10+, not 3 – helps them establish a routine and become equipped to handle the next situations on their own.
For a majority of my kids’ arguments I still end up getting involved but not until they have first tried to solve the problem on their own. Also, if things become physical, I will usually step in sooner to ensure it does not continue. But next time an argument between your kids happens, try to let them figure it out on their own first. It’s a great lesson to teach early on that will help them through life.
Hi, I'm Rebecca
I’m a wife, mom to 5 kids, former choir teacher, Christian and advice giver? I can honestly say I never expected to be the one giving advice when I so frequently ask for it, but the advice I’ve received is so valuable and must be shared! Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far!