It is common for parents with more than one child to see their kids fighting with each other. Children hitting one another is part of the daily chores for a mother. But are you sure your kids fight like other children? Do you think there’s something unnatural about your kids fighting? Do you think your elder child hits your younger one out of anger and jealousy?
There are times when one of your kid feels left out and unattended due to the presence of a younger sibling or for any other reason. You need to find out those reasons and help your child love and respect his or her sibling. Here are some tips that can help you:
#1. Try To Reform The Connection With Your Children
If you think that your kids fight because they feel disconnected with you, try to reconnect with them. Building trust and reforming the connection with your kids won’t take more than half hour every day. Dedicate the entire half hour to your kids and let them choose what to do. Just pour your love into their tank and keep away from distractions. Your children will love the attention and will know that their happiness matters to you. Knowing that you enjoy their company will make it very easy for your kids to trust you again.
#2. Help Them Get Over Their Insecurities
Every child in general needs to laugh and giggle every day, but kids who fight needs it the most. Laughing is the best way to let go of his or her pent-up emotions. Plan some games that make them giggle; mock aggression games work great in these cases. Games which help them let out their emotions, be it aggression, fear, and let them cry if they wish to. If the child giggles, you’ll know you are on the right track.
You can also plan games involving stuffed animals in which a new baby enters the family. Let your kid take the lead on all the misfortunes that are bound to befall the baby, such as accidentally feeding the baby with wrong food or the baby falling from the bed.
Playing is a harmless way of helping your child process their emotions, and lets them vent out their emotions trough giggling which otherwise would have come out as tears. You can also go through the parenting websites to find some helpful games.
#3. Read With Your Kids
Another way to help your children if they hit each other is by reading books with them. Reading helps them to feel the emotions through other characters. Just make sure that the book you pick is about something your kid can relate to and shows that one can have all sorts of feelings but do not support sibling rivalry or any kinds of unkind behavior towards siblings. It is better if you pick stories that are happy, engaging and maybe about siblings who love each other dearly.
It is not necessary that your kids will appreciate the story. They might show disinterest as well. Do not try to analyze their feelings as jealousy or rage. Just acknowledge what you see. Ask them if they are upset about something related to the story or is it something else.
#4. When Your Child Hits, Go First To The Sibling Who Is Hurt
Whenever your kids are fighting and one of them gets hurt, you might feel the urge to teach a lesson to the one who hit, but you should do the opposite. Attend to the one who’s hurt. Comforting your hurt child will get you into the nurturer’s zone, which is exactly what you need when you deal with the hitter child. We understand that you would want to punish your child, but what you really need is to teach him or her to stop hitting. The best way to do it is by talking to them about their feelings. Look through his or her eyes and understand what they are going through.
#5. Help Them Get Past Their Anger To The Tears And Fears Beneath
If your children hit one another and you do not notice any sign of a specific emotion, just know that there are some upsetting feelings that are driving their actions. Now your goal should be to help your children surface their feelings so that they can let them go. The best part of human emotions is that once we feel them, they vanish easily and naturally.
So you need to move right in close, get down on their level, and look in their eyes, that is the window to their soul. Remind yourself that you have raised a good kid who needs a little help to realize that. Just stay calm and be very kind to them.
Create a safe space for your children where they can easily express their feelings. They might be feeling lonely and hurt. Talk to them about their feelings concerning the new baby in the family.
Once you start being compassionate with your kids, your little children will surely let out their feelings and share it with you through aggression or crying. Let them shout at you, and tell you that they hate you because aggression dissolves the numbness. Empathise with their situation and keep your heart open.
You might end up crying too looking at your children going through so much pain. Don’t stop yourself. Your children need to see that you love them and their pain affects you too. Eventually, you’ll find them crying in your arms and apologizing for their behavior.
#6. Encourage The Sibling Bond
Encouraging the sibling bond will strengthen the part of your children that wants to protect his or her sibling. Make your children sit and let them hold each other’s hands or make them play together. Teach them the little things about each other. They might be repulsive in the beginning but will gradually start enjoying it. The more time they spend with each other, the more protective will they become of one another.
Other ways to encourage the sibling bond is by making them play games where the two of them team up against you. Make a photo album of them having fun and make your children read it regularly. Encourage them to make drawings for each other. Ask them to buy or make small presents for one other. Ensure your elder sibling of their significance in the upbringing of the junior. Ask them to wake your baby sister, or help her draw because you are the elder one. Find ways to get them involved with each other. It will encourage teamwork and love for each other.
#7. Take The Preventive Measures
You might be doing everything needed to discourage rivalry between your kids and stop them from fighting with each other, but you’ll still have to be careful because the process is slow and gradual. As a parent, it is your responsibility to keep your children safe. Never ever think about leaving your kids alone in the house thinking that it will strengthen their bond. No please, stop doing things that you might resent later.
We aren’t saying that you should blame yourself if the kids fight with one another, all we are saying is that you should take responsibility to avoid such situations.
Lastly, don’t panic if your kids fight. It is normal for the siblings to feel angry or insecure towards each other. This won’t last forever. Once you help them with their feelings, they'll start managing things better. And sooner or later, your children will forge a deep bond with each other.
Do your kids fight too? What do you do stop them from fighting? Let us know in the comment section below. We would love to know your thoughts and opinions.