From the time my 9 year old son and my six year old daughter wake up in the morning there arguing over the TV, PlayStation,and who's helping pick up the house. if it's not that there hitting each other or there tattling on one another.
Nearly all children who have siblings that are close in age will argue with one another at one time or another. If this is a behavior that you do not want, first think of how you would like them to handle their disagreements instead of what they are currently doing.
Think of three or four behaviors they can substitute in place of the arguing such as;
1. Listen to what the other one has to say without interrupting.
2. Explain why they think they are right in a calm voice.
3. Agree to flip a coin or draw straws to determine who gets their way.
Teach your children this skill by introducing it as a skill they cannot only use at home with one another but one that will be helpful with others as well.
•Describe what you want them to do listing the behaviors or steps of the skill of "Handling Arguments or Disagreements".
•Give them a good "kid" reason for doing it this way. A reason that shows the benefit to them.
•Have them practice this new skill to make sure they understand what you are teaching and make it more likely they will actually do it.
•Reinforce them for practicing.
If they begin to argue even after your teaching and practicing, stop the behavior by calmly describing what they are doing, "okay you two, you are arguing over the TV."
Then deliver a consequence, "since you were arguing over the TV, it is off for the next 30 minutes." Re-teach what they should do the next time they have a disagreement, "the next time you two have a disagreement, remember to listen first without interrupting, then calmly explain your side and either draw straws or flip a coin to determine who wins." Then have them actually do it the right way, practice for the next time, "now show me you can handle this the right way, lets say you are about to argue again but instead, show me how you can handle it better."
Be consistent with your expectations and with your consequences. When ever they argue, stop the behavior, use consequences and re-teach. Also remember to catch them being good. Whenever they use this new way of handling disagreements, reinforce them. You want to see more of this!
akanagy - the member who asked this question - selected this as the best answer posted by another Education.com member.
from a fellow member
A sibling is a special gift, but one that is often unappreciated during the childhood years. While siblings are often excellent playmates, partners in crime, and in later years best friends and confidants, arguments among them are bound to occur and are absolutely normal, even though they can be a parent’s worst headache! It is important that you as a parent recognize the individual personalities, feelings, and needs of each of your children, and know how to effectively diffuse conflicts that arise so that entire family is happy and healthy.
What parents can do
Know why they act out. Siblings fight with one another for a variety of reasons. They could be seeking attention from you or trying to distinguish and separate themselves from one other. Older children dislike being seen as the responsible ones, and younger children dislike being compared to their older sibling, and each may be trying to express these feelings by taking their frustration out on the other.
Set ground rules. While sometimes children do need to argue and sort out their differences, it is important that they do it in a safe and healthy way. While you should try to avoid getting involved, your children should know what is appropriate and what is not. For example, under no circumstances is it ok to use physical fighting to resolve differences. Fighting should not take place in the car, as it can be distracting to the driver.
Teach positive interaction. One way to minimize squabbles among your children is to model cooperation, compromise, and anger management. Teach them to take a deep breath and remember not to say things they do not mean in the heat of the moment. Remind them that it takes two to argue, and show them how to apologize to one another. Help them figure out ways to cooperate and compromise, take turns, and sometimes agree to disagree. If you do get involved, try not to yell or lecture.
Don't compare. Each of your children is unique and fighting with each other is one of the ways in which they are conveying this to one another and to you. Make sure you spend some one-on-one time with each child. While it is easy to enroll your children in the same activities, especially if they are of the same age or gender, recognize their individual talents and interests. Try to avoid asking your older child to bring a younger sibling along when hanging out with friends, because this can lead to resentment. Also, teach your children that fair is not always equal. Older children are often given more responsibility, and younger children do not always get the same privileges.
Make family time a priority. A good way for your children to learn to get along with one another is to emphasize the importance of family. Encourage family interactions on a regular basis. There are small and easy ways to accomplish this, like planning at least one activity to do together each weekend, and trying to eat dinner together as much as possible during the week. Weekly family meetings are a good way to avoid complaining and potential conflicts among your children. This is a good time to decide who will do what chore, and who will get what privilege. Especially if your children are close in age, it is a good idea to rotate things like who will load the dishwasher vs. who will clear the table, and who will sit in the front seat in the car.
Well I have to say that the same thing has been going on in my house for many years now. My daughter is 12 and my other one is 9 and this is constantly going on usually in spurts. They play, they fight, I separate...they play, they fight, I send to rooms...they play they fight and then go back to rooms. I unfortunately think that this is the way it is going to be for a very long time. Good luck to you.
Hi, Im Lawanz and I have two kids also that does the exact same thing. I always take away what it is they are arguing over. Sometimes I separate them, I even went as for as letting them know if they cant show me that they know how to get alone with each other they cant have friends. Because i was raised that family comes first. I just try to scare them with small punishments. Hopefully its just a fase and they will grow out of it!!
I have the same issue with my 3 yr old and my 8 yr old. It is the pits!! I am even trading my vehicle in for something with more room and 3 row... to separate them. Pretty sad but they fight in the car all the time and I hate being distracted.
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