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What are some good discipline actions when my children are fighting?

My oldest(4) and my middle(3) do nothing but fight. I knew what I was in for due to the fact my sister and I have about the same age difference. However I have no clue on discipline . I am not a fan of spanking and "time outs" don't seem to work...HELP

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Asked by avelinomiller at 11:57 AM on Apr. 10, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • Spanking is not the answer - it sends the message that hitting is okay. Many times their fighting is to get your attention, so ignore them for a while - walk out of the room for a few minutes. Make sure that you treat them equally - when one gets something, make sure the other has the same thing/amount. Tell them you love them and do not show favoritism. If they fight when they are tired and cranky, watch the hour and plan activities that will keep them busy - away from each other. Coloring time with one at one end of the table and one at the other, each with their own box of crayons. Last, just try to remain calm. If you react with anger or frustration, they will notice and see that they got a rise out of you and got your attention.

    Answer by neebug3766 at 12:07 PM on Apr. 10, 2010

  • Separate them to give yourself a break. As they get older, they need to find a way to get along, but you cannot do it for them beyond demonstrating how family love each other and treat each other. Insist that they love each other, and don't allow them to argue with you. Don't allow them to divide and conquer.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:09 PM on Apr. 10, 2010

  • Well, time outs have worked great for me.  I think sometimes people don't use time outs correctly.  Have you watched The Super Nannie Show?  She uses time outs just like I do (or really, I use them just like she does) and they are very effective.  I also recommend the Dr. Sears Discipline Book for those not interested in relying on spanking.   When mine fight, I separate them.  Sometimes we'll have one go play in another room, or we'll just start individual activities for each kid -- playdoh, coloring, reading a story, etc, etc. 


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:09 PM on Apr. 10, 2010

  • Kids are going to fight - that's a reality that we all have to live with :) As for how to handle it - - unless one of them is hurting the other, don't. Let them learn to work out their differences. You can let them know that their fighting hurts your ears and they need to move elsewhere. If one is hurting another, or bullying (also hurting), then it's time to step in and teach them how to work it out. First step is to help them cool off - nothing will get resolved while they are angry. My mom's favorite way of doing that with us was to sit us both in chairs and say that we could both get up when we had both given each other permission. The idea was that we weren't going to say "ok - you can get up" if we were still fighting mad. Once they have cooled down, have them explain to each other why they were each upset, and help them come up with a solution to the problem that they can both live with.

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 7:33 PM on Apr. 10, 2010

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