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What home hasn’t had a scene like this?
Lenny and Max were lying on the floor in front of the TV. Suddenly Lenny shifted position, accidentally kicking Max’s leg. “Stop it!” Max yelled. He hit Lenny on the arm.
Lenny shifted away. But a moment later his leg slid over again and he tapped Max with his foot. “Stop it!” Max yelled. And he hit Lenny’s arm again.
Lenny pulled his foot back. But only for an instant. then, WHAM, he got Max again. “Stop it!” Max yelled, hitting Lenny even harder.
Dad was determined to ignore their behavior. But this was too much. “You boys knock it off!” he said. “You’re ruining the show.”
They obeyed for a few minutes. Then the cycle started again. In the end, Lenny and Max got a good spanking and Dad missed most of his show.
Arguing and fighting are common in most homes, in greater or lesser degrees. In fact, they are sooooooo common that most parents list that as their number one problem.
Fighting comes in 3 forms, and each kind requires a different kind of response: Issue fighting, boredom fighting, and attention-seeking fighting.
Issue fighting: The kids start fighting over a matter of right or wrong, or should or should not. For instance: Angela and Susan share a radio in their room. Susan likes rock music and Angela likes country music. The issue: who gets to choose which kind of music they play.
Here’s how to solve: sit down together when everyone’s willing to talk (which means you don’t talk right after there’s been a blow-up), discuss the issue, and justly set rules.
Boredom fighting: (almost every summer day):(
Boredom fighting has one cause: BOREDOM! The kids get tired of what they’re doing and the start fighting to fill in the gap.
Solution: FIND THEM SOMETHING TO DO!!! If you find something the child will genuinely enjoy, the boredom will vanish and the fighting will go away with it.
Here’s another idea: Wear the kids out with physical work or play. It’s doubtful many children in earlier centuries got involved in boredom fighting. They were too busy during the day and toooooo tired at the day’s end. My husband’s mother kept them refinishing furniture, delivering newspapers, mowing the lawn and playing baseball. She said she had very little fighting amongst her boys.
This is the MOST common type of fighting that parents will experience. It comes in all forms and occurs in just about all places–from home to grocery store to the car to grandma’s house.
Attention-seeking fights look like other kinds of fights. But they’re easier to spot: there’s no ISSUE involved, and the kids aren’t bored.
What’s the best response for attention-seeking fighting? NOTHING!!! No response. Or none that’s directly related to the fighting.
Maybe that doesn’t make sense. But here’s what’s happening. The kids are fighting for attention. If you give it to them, their fighting worked, it brought the desired response, and NEXT time they’re going to pull the same stunt again.
When kids fight for attention, don’t step in to be a judge or referee or cop. At best, that will only put out the fire–and that’s just what the kids want you to do. Instead, ignore the fight completely. Don’t say anything; just get up and walk out of the room. Once you’re gone the fight will fizzle quickly. After all, you’ve taken the kids’ audience away!!!
What if you are talking to someone? Ask them to come with you as you leave the room.
What if you’re watching an important TV show? It will be worth it to miss a few minutes–remember you are training your children for life:)
What if you’re tired and sick and you can’t stand their fighting anymore? GET UP and LEAVE ANYWAY. You’ll accomplish a lot more (and a lot more effectively) than you would if you yelled or spanked or tried to intervene.
What if one child is BIGGER than the other and you’re afraid the smaller child will get picked on? GET UP and LEAVE ANYWAY. Your kids are most likely in cahoots together, trying together to get Mom’s or Dad’s attention. (Sometimes one child will get into the habit of being a bully. If that’s the case, isolate the bully.)
Then when the dust has cleared find something constructive to do with them. Give them positive attention when they’re being good. Before too long you’ll have broken them of the attention–seeking fighting habit.
Find out what kind of fighting your children are doing. It is ISSUE? Do you need to create some rules? Is it BOREDOM? Do you need to put them to work? or find something enjoyable for them to do? Is it ATTENTION-SEEKING? Do you need to get up and leave or send them to their rooms? Preferably leave, sending them to their room gives them attention.
Once you know what’s motivating your children, you can respond accordingly, in a positive way. By doing so, you’ll not only have a HAPPIER HOME in times of stress, but you’ll be training your children not to fight. And you will have done it WITHOUT raising either hand or voice!
Many of these examples and ideas came from this book, to read and understand your children more purchase this book!
Good luck Mother’s this is a CHALLENGING FEAT 🙂