Is Your Kid’s Fighting Driving You Crazy?
My kid’s is fight is driving me crazy. I mean, NUTS! It makes me want to jump in and whine and cry along with them. And while I am often tempted to do just that (and honestly have been very close to crossing that ugly line) I must remember that teaching by example is the far better option.
So I take a deep breath, count as high as it takes and eventually intervene with some instances more calmly than others. In a perfect world I would only have to say something one time and my beautiful children would smile at me and reply, “okay, Mom” and the problem will be solved. The truth is, I don’t live in Stepford. Chances are, neither do you.
I find the more involved I am with them throughout the day, the easier it is to keep the peace. Unfortunately, my time is extremely divided between various responsibilities and the time I need to dedicate as their mediator isn’t always available. Also, I think it is important they learn to resolve their issues on their own. If only it didn’t involve a violent throw down of hitting and screaming. Is this a boy thing? Because I honestly don’t understand.
Here are a few things I’ve tried to help teach my boys conflict resolution. Is it working? God only knows.
1) Put it into words. Once everyone has calmed down we try to talk it through. I ask them why they are angry. Once we’ve discovered the actual issue I encourage them to use their words to ask the other for what they want. I have to resist the urge to give them the words I think they should use and let them come up with something on their own.
2) Respect “No”. If the answer is no that doesn’t mean fight until you get your way. It means you may offer something up as a compromise or you can find something else to do. If neither one of these is acceptable, ask a grown up for help.
3) Listen to words. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard one son screaming, “stop, don’t, no” at the top of his lungs and the other continues on like he hasn’t heard a thing. Constant reminders to listen to other people’s words help avoid physical confrontations. In the past, we have also used a code word to grab their attention. The last one was, “attention”… imagine that =) We’ve had to switch these words up after a while as they seem to loose effectiveness over time.
Kids will be kids and brothers will fight. I know this. But, I hope I can teach them something along the way about the importance of communication.
Do you have any new ideas I could try? How do you keep the peace between your children?