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Tween Titans Tween Titans

Advice about fighting kids

Posted by on Jul. 6, 2007 at 4:03 PM
  • 7 Replies
OK...so there was a post here recently which mentioned the common trouble of sibling fights.  As I mentioned in my response, I have three boys, 9, 10, and 12, and they fight constantly.  What I want to know, is what to do about it.  I have tried so many things...three strikes before they get an early bedtime, sitting on their beds, losing privileges, etc.  So many people have suggested to me that I should just let them beat each other up, I guess so that they would establish a pecking order, so to speak.  The idea is that if they get put in their place by each other, they won't fight anymore.  Has anyone ever tried this?  Does it really work?  I've been reluctant to try this since it really goes against my grain.  I've always tried to discourage fighting rather than promote it, which is what this feels like.  HELP!!!
by on Jul. 6, 2007 at 4:03 PM
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Replies (1-7):
prdusmcmom
by on Jul. 6, 2007 at 4:38 PM
Oh Sweetie, you deserve a metal.  Those are rough ages alone but..........I think the best thing is exactly what your doing now.  I personally cant see how it would help letting them beat each other up but what do I know, I was the only girl among 4 brothers.  Good luck.
Silverjena
by on Jul. 6, 2007 at 5:24 PM

I have 2 boys, 11 and 12 and I know what you are talking about.  When my boys start fighting, I send them to their separate rooms, for about 15 minutes, then when time is up, go go in and talk w/ each one they need to get along and we discuss how they could have changed what caused the fight.  Usually one of them is still mad at the other, so I just let them cool off, and tell them maybe they should just find something to do in their room.  Seems like, just minutres later one of them is going out of their way to be extra nice, and they are back being good buddies!  

Have to tell you, I have prayed for patience many times!

mme.dalton
by on Jul. 6, 2007 at 5:54 PM
I think patience is probably the thing I pray for the most.  Thanks for the advice.  I think I should try talking to them afterward like you suggested. 
kater
by on Jul. 6, 2007 at 7:08 PM
honestly.....this is what we do.  and a little back story on the why we do it.

my kids are 4,6,7, and 10, so there aren't too many knock-down drag-outs yet, but i can tell when it is reaching the boiling point over here.  we started a "consequence" while they were little and hopefully they will carry it with them when they get older and can actually do damage to each other in a fight!

when they fight, they are given one warning.  that warning is it.  the next outbreak, they are given a lesson in cooperation.  ((yes, how very sesame street that sounds!))  their lesson entails them completing a chore together without so much as a peep of anger, fighting, disagreement or retribution (carried out or threatened).  if a peep is heard, they get another chore.  and another.  and another if necessary until they are quite finished with their disagreement.  my older two have had to do five chores in one sitting, and that was only once.  now they get it in one, sometimes two.  the chores they get depends on the severity of the argument.  if it came to blows, they get hard labor, like sweeping the floors (in a house of hardwood floors, that is no simple task...)  raking leaves, breaking firewood kindling, etc.  if it is just an argument, they get something a little less strenuous like folding the sheets or towels, cleaning toilets or something meaningless like taking all the books off the bookshelf and arranging them according to size.  obviously you'd do something more drastic for your older boys!  maybe they'd have to plan dinner and clean up afterwards....it depends on your house i guess.

most recently they have all begun earning a small allowance.  for an unprovoked attack, (ie, big sister is mad that she has to pick up her books and shoes from the living room and shoves little brother into the wall as she walks by) the victim may ask me to charge the perpetrator a $1.00 fee, much like suing for damages in court.  i am the judge.  i hear from both sides and any witnesses and i let them know what the verdict is.  it worked the first time.

the "why" behind it is this:  if you grow up being forced to separate, you never learn to work things out.  you never learn to look someone in the eye in the heat of an arguement and realize, "dang.  i'm wrong."  because sometimes we ARE wrong.  separating the two fighting parties never gives them a chance in the heat of it to settle down and agree.  or agree to disagree, if the case warrants. they also need to find out that  their actions may have dire consequences in  the eyes of the law - so we have our "fine."

i hope you can modify some or all of this to fit in your house.  i strongly suggest everyone sit down together and talk about it (how lame is it to call it a family meeting??) before implementing it or one parent may be undermining the other unknowingly.  gooood luck!!
mme.dalton
by on Jul. 6, 2007 at 7:20 PM
Souds great.  And no, I don't think family meetings are lame (although, I remember I used to think so when I was a kid, but that was a lifetime ago).  I also like your logic.  It makes terriffic sense.  I just hope it can work in a household where everyone needs to have the last word, but it definitely seems worth a try.  Thanks!
stacywith4
by on Jul. 7, 2007 at 11:26 AM
Ok I know this sounds lame but it worked for my family.  We have a WOW jar.  We sat down and came up with rewards like Ice Cream, stay up late, candy bar, back rub etc.  Then when I caught them being "super special" kind to eachother the person would get a WOW.  Only the person delivering the action gets the WOW. Our neighbors  even  ask to be included.... it is funny to see them doing a super special thing and being "caught doing a WOW".  They are excited to be rewarded for a behavior rather than just grades etc.  The theory behind this is to initially force them be kind and do nice things and gradually it will become  a habit.  It takes 10 days to create a habit and 30 days to break it!!!  To start I would be super aware of their actions and give easy WOWs away, later I up'ed my standards.  One other point, they can not "stage" a WOW and if they tell  you that they did something kind, they do not receive a WOW.   If your fighting is really severe,  then allow the person receiving the kind action to "tattle" on the act of kindness.  This will help them pay attention to the others "good" points instead of the bad.  Don't forget that you can receive "WOW actions" also.  Good Luck.
spoiled2
by on Jul. 7, 2007 at 11:53 PM
I'm sorry but who ever says you should let your kids beat one another up needs help. I know I'll get alot of slack for that comment but get real. I have 2 kids and I'm trying to teach them that fighting is NOT OK. you can't do that if you allow it. I make mine sit or stand in front of one another hold hands and stand there till they stop the arguing. But you need to find out what works best for your self & your kids.  Good luck
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