4 Creative Solutions to Reduce Sibling Wars
The older my boys get, the more they fight. I know this is only the beginning. I have been trying to be more mindful of not yelling during these times of sibling fighting. With all this fighting, it seems like all I do is yell at them. It really is not in my nature to yell at anyone, yet sometimes they just push me to my breaking point. I don't want to be the mom that is always yelling. Instead, I have been using strategies I learned about through the Orange Rhino challenge. Each week, I try to choose two or three new strategies. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they are a huge bust.
Here are just a few things I have been doing to squash sibling wars:
1. Whisper. I have no idea why this technique works, but it just does. If I find myself repeating the same direction over and over again, such as “Stop hitting your brother,” I will get down on the boy's level and whisper in their ear. I usually whisper, “It hurts when we use our hands. Let's use our words instead.” Most of the time, this technique stops the negative behavior. My 5-year-old will often look at me with an odd expression and then move on to something else.
2. Dance Party. Most of the time, my boys are very good. On the days they are acting like evil minions, it's probably because they are overtired, bored, or a little bit of both. Turning on upbeat music and dancing with them typically gets them laughing and acting silly together. Lately, they have been asking to have a dance party at random times throughout the day, too. I love that they share a passion for music and dance.
3. Organized Exercise. The hardest time during our weekday is from the time we get home from daycare and work until dinner is on the table. When the boys are not getting along during this time, I often put on a kids yoga DVD, which focuses their energy into something positive. If I am not busy with household duties, we often exercise together. A quick game of “Simon Says” mixed in with jumping jacks, push ups, and marching in place can easily transform bad moods into smiling faces.
4. Get Crafty. I admit, there are times when I am at fault for my own misery. My boys tend to fight more when left to entertain themselves. If I am 100% engaged in them, the negative behaviors are not present. These past few weeks, I have done more playing with them, even if it means leaving a pile of dishes in the sink after lunch on the weekends. One of our favorite activities is to get creative. I found the easiest way to do spontaneous craft projects is to create a crafts-to-go box. That way, when all I hear is “Mom, he's copying me!” I reach for the craft box and get them involved in an activity.
What strategies do you use when your children are fighting?