It’s normal for kids to argue and compete for your attention. All relationships have conflict. Arguing and fighting is an opportunity for kids to learn how to resolve conflict resulting in a better quality of relationship.
Most arguments are to do with feelings so the best way to deal with kids arguing is to deal with the feelings rather than the issue.
Feelings that lead to arguing are normally:
- need for attention,
- feeling of injustice,
- and resentment.
Unhelpful parenting methods include:
- ignoring the fight and punishing your child,
- issuing time-out,
- punishing both children,
- and time spent playing judge and jury.
Helpful parenting strategies include:
- Helping to find something new or fun to do,
- casually separating the children,
- have children express feelings to each other “I feel…when..”,
- acknowledge and accept feelings of each child (even if you don’t agree).
- Take Turns
Teaching anger management strategies and self-calming techniques later when everyone has calmed down and the issues are resolved can be rewarding and a lot of fun. Plus it makes you a super cool Dad and even Mum might be impressed!