If Your Kids Are Always Fighting, Try These Discipline Tools
Healthy relationships between siblings require thoughtful parenting and care, even in the best of circumstances. Tensions between siblings can begin to reach new and unpleasant heights, and so discipline tools become necessary.
Discipline tools to stop your kids fighting all the time
These discipline tools are easy to put into practice and can help siblings get along better and relieve tension in your home. You can use them whenever you want.
Create a marble family jar
Tensions between siblings often arise when children compete against each other for parental attention or other needs. With a marble jar, the siblings will work together toward a common goal.
To do this, you have to start by setting goals for them (sharing, using kind words, being respectful, offering help, etc.), and then promise a family reward, such as having a pizza night, watching a family movie of their choice, or having double dessert.
Every time you see a child showing good behavior, congratulate them and put a marble in the family jar. Encourage children to “tell on” each other when a sibling has earned a marble, but don’t let them report their bad behavior or it will start a riot at home.
When children start fighting, instead of scolding them, remind them that you’re looking for kind behavior so they can earn their reward.
When the jar is full, everyone gets the reward. Although you may spend a few days breaking their old habits, children will soon realize that they get more out of being nice than they do out of arguing.
Use timers for family change
Don’t children always seem to want the same toy at the same time? While it can be frustrating, it’s also a great teaching moment. Explain that everyone can use family toys, so be nice and take turns. Then, use a timer to make sure each child gets the same amount of time with that toy.
When parents keep track of the exchange, we often get distracted and forget that the first child should share the toy at the promised time.
A timer keeps everyone on track, and, eventually, children can learn the turns on their own. Visual timers, such as hourglasses, work best with young children who may not yet know their numbers.
Altering self-defense with internal dialogue
When children start fighting, parents often intervene to resolve disputes. While this approach may stop the fighting, it doesn’t teach children how to handle the problem. As a result, the next time the conflict arises, they’re likely to end up fighting again.
Guiding children on how to handle disagreements with internal dialogue can be much more helpful. In this regard, an adult gives suggestions on how to handle a situation by “thinking out loud” for them.
For example, if your daughter complains that she wants to use her brother’s markers, she can say to her, “If you want the marker, ask your brother, ‘Can I have the yellow marker, please?” Don’t speak for her. This will limit fights between siblings and children.
The direct instruction, “If you want the marker, just ask him,” often leads to arguments. Internal dialogue puts an idea into their mind, but allows your child to decide whether to use it.
Building on daily physical activity
To help keep tensions down, you need to make sure children get a daily dose of physical activity. Besides the fact that exercise is good for your children’s bodies, it helps relieve tension while improving their moods. Make sure you find ways to let your little ones burn off energy every day.
Keep a daily routine
You’re probably tired of hearing about it, but to help the kids get through the days, it’s best to keep them on a daily schedule or routine.
To do this, you have to make sure they’re eating healthy food at regular times. It’s also important that they have a sleep routine. These routines help bodies feel healthy and that’s an important component of good moods: everyone’s grumpier when they’re tired and hungry.
We hope that you’ll put these discipline tools into practice in your home and see immediate positive results in your children’s behavior.