Do your children fight or argue all the time? How do you stop the sibling fighting?
One Mama said, “I need help. I don’t know how to parent my beautiful children together. The fighting is out of control. I grew up as an only child, and I just don’t know how to address it. I want my children to love each other….at least like! I know that everyone has off days, but it seems constant at this point. My children are 11, 8 ½ , and 6 year old twins. I’m frustrated and overwhelmed. Please pray for my kiddos to have a kind heart. The fighting and rudeness is just too much!”
Can you relate? Does any of this sound like your home?
You can stop the sibling fighting. It is important that you do. Let talk how in this episode of the Renewed Mama Podcast.
The first thing to do, Mama, is to stop, stay calm, and evaluate. Do it right now before a fight breaks out again.
Ask yourself, “Do I argue? Am I demonstrating an argumentative spirit with my husband or with my children? Where are they seeing or learning this? Is it from me? Did I teach them that it’s acceptable to argue, shout, or cry to get what they want?”
They are learning it from somewhere. Our children will do what they see us do. They mirror us. Is it from me or someone else?
Regardless of who they learned it from, the next step is to go to them and say, “Please forgive me. I have demonstrated to you that it is OK to argue. I have allowed you to squabble and nit-pick each other and cry or hit to get what you want. It is not OK. Will you forgive me?”
“We cannot keep this up. It is not healthy or happy in our home when we argue, is it? I am going to stop it and so will you. We are a family. We will work together from now on to treat each other with honor and love.”
It doesn’t matter whether they are one year old, six, or sixteen. Humble yourself and apologize and ask them to forgive you.
If you mess up again because we do, we will. You default to arguing when you are upset or frustrated, keep short accounts. Say, “I’m sorry. I’m working on not arguing and I lost it. I messed up. I did not treat you with honor and love. Will you forgive me?”
BREAK UP THE ARGUMENT WHEN YOU ARE CALM
When an argument breaks out, and they are shouting, crying, or hitting, or pulling at the same toy, especially when they are little or you are working at changing this pattern in your home, go in and break up the argument.
You need to show them a better way to behave. How else will they see a better way to respond if you don’t guide them through what that can look like?
Don’t step in to break it up until you yourself are calm unless they are being dangerous to each other and causing harm.
Don’t go in anger. Don’t stomp in there and say, “What’s going on? Who’s not sharing? Why are you arguing again? We said we’d stop this.” That’s not going to help. They will instantly be on the defense and answer back that way. So don’t attack.
Your goal is to teach them or demonstrate to them the right way to handle an argument. You yourself need to be calm first so that they can receive your teaching.
Honoring each other is more important than getting what they want.
Now that everyone is calm, you have a ripe, teachable moment. Ask, “How did you dishonor your sister? How did you dishonor your brother?”
Remember, you are developing HONOR for each other that wasn’t there before.
It’s not “What did he do to you?” or “What did she do to you?” “He hit me.” “Did not.” “Did too.”
It takes two people to argue, so both have a part in it, and somehow both have dishonored or disrespected each other. So teach them to take responsibility for their part in the argument.
Then ask, “What will you do to make it right?” Again both are responsible for their own actions and both need to make it right.
DON’T LET ARGUMENTS LINGER
I encourage you to not let arguments linger. Deal with the situation then and there. Do not send your children to their bedrooms to come out when they can get along. There are too many distractions in their bedroom, too many toys to play with.
You also don’t want them believing lies about the situation when sent to their bedroom. Lies like, “They’re so mean. I’m going to get back at them.” or “Mom never understands me. She hates me. I don’t belong in this family.”
When you ask, “How did you dishonor your sister? How did you dishonor your brother?” “How will you make it right?” you face the hurt feelings, the anger, and the frustration right away. You talk about it and work through it to come to a place of peace. And you’re done with it. Keep short accounts. This keeps their hearts sensitive to others.
If you choose to send them to their room and you find that the arguing begins again once they come out, you haven’t dealt with the dishonor or disrespect between them. You just sent the arguing away for a while. I encourage you to deal with the situation then and there.
Speak Life Badges are Your Tool to Stop Sibling Fighting
Speak Life Badges are a tool that you can use to help your children remember that they share, put others first, and honor, and choose kindness.
Give them a Speak Life Badge at the start of the day before any arguments break out and say, “I believe in you to share your toys with your brother as you play. If he wants to play with the same toy as you, how will you share it with him?” “May I give you this sticker award that says I Share because I know that you have a heart to share?”
Or you can say, “We have a special challenge today. We are going to see how many times we can put each other first. What does it mean to put others first?” Then talk through a few examples that they’d understand. “When we go to the park today, putting others first could be sister letting brother have the swing first.” “When we have one piece of grilled cheese left and three people want it, we figure out a way to cut it so that all three get a piece.”
Even when they don’t honor and it’s another nasty argument that you need to work through with them, still give them a Speak Life Badge and say, “I believe in you to be honoring. Kind and respectful is who you are. May I give you this badge to remind you that you are honoring.”
I know it’s not there yet in them, but speak it out over them. Your words are blessings or curses, Mama. Speak life over them.
Need Parenting Help?
Mama, do you need parenting help? You’ve tried everything and nothing is working with your children. You don’t know what is the right way to respond nor who to talk to about it. Reach out to me HERE. We’ll hop on a zoom chat and get you the answers you are praying for you so that you can stop the sibling fighting and enjoy peace in your home.
Now it’s Your Turn
Now it’s your turn to tell me which one of these suggestions will help you end the arguing and nit-picking in your home. I’d love to hear from you. Comment below or tell me in a voice message using the recording app found on the main page of speaklifebadges.com.
I Bless You, Mama
I bless you, Mama. Your home is full of peace. Arguments don`t belong there. Tell your children, “We are a family. We are a team. We fight for each other, not against. We cheer and support each other instead of putting each other down. Our family is known for our honor and love for each other.”