One of the greatest joys of parenthood is watching sibling friendships form, but conflicts will arise, and siblings will squabble - it's human nature.
Having disagreements plays a massive part in a child's development and will teach them things they will carry for life but if it's all getting too much for you, here are some ways to stop your kids from fighting.
How to stop kids from fighting.
Don't yell at your kids.
Easier said than done, I know, but as parents, we need to set the tone. If a mum or dad yells regularly, naturally children are going to yell at each other too. Set expectations that your family lives in a house where people don't scream at each other.
Give them time.
For some kids, negative attention is better than no attention. It would help if you gave each child regular undivided one-on-one time directed to their interests and needs.
Don't play the blame game.
When it comes to investigating a classic scenario of something getting broken or someone getting hurt we often hear the dreaded words "I didn't do it". Instead of playing the blame game, tell them you don't care who did it, that nobody in is trouble and you need to know what happened.
Keep them busy.
Most arguments and whiny behaviour stem out of boredom. Lower their frustrations by remembering kids are kids and need to be kept active and occupied within reason, of course. Encourage them to play outdoors, to be creative and to enjoy their freedom while they can.
Set ground rules.
When it comes to unacceptable behaviour, enforce ground rules with a no-tolerance policy and tell them there is no hitting, yelling or slamming doors allowed. Teach them responsibility for their actions by implementing consequences for when the rules are broken and always be consistent.
Turn it into a game.
If you see a sibling fight brewing chat with the children and make them aware of the impending squabble. Allow them to fix it before it escalates. This approach will help them solve some of their disputes before things get out of hand, something they will carry for life.
Reinforce good behaviour.
Reward good sibling behaviour with words of encouragement. Praising positive actions whenever you can encourage kindness and will help them to recognise themselves getting along and enjoying each others company.
Encourage separate playtime.
When everyone is together all day long, especially over the summer months, encourage them to play in different rooms or areas in the garden for twenty minutes at a time. It will give your children time to recharge their batteries, helping them to be kinder and more cooperative when back playing together.
Find the root of the problem.
And finally, if your children are always fighting over the same thing, take it away and explain to your children that relationships are more important than possessions. After some time, allow them to earn it back by doing something together.
How do you stop your kids from fighting?