Tag Archives: motherhood

How Do I Stop My Kids’ Fighting?

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By Laurie Winslow Sargent:

One frustrated mom asked, “How I stop my kids’ fighting? It’s driving me crazy!”


Photo by Stuart Miles: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ooooh, been there, done that, felt that. I know, it can be enormously frustrating. I think what  made me craziest was the noise level–just having to listen to it.

Even handling it perfectly (and how would that be?) won’t make it go away entirely. Kids are learning how to relate to each other and will practice with their siblings.

As we enter this discussion on sibling squabbles, ask yourself this:  “What am I most reacting to?” Is the answer:

#1 The noise?

#2 The issues at hand, which you feel you must intervene in (and should you–really–or must they work it out themselves?)

#3 The need to protect one child from another, physically or from wounding words?

Kids pick at each other for all kinds of reasons and many do require adult intervention (AKA refereeing). But for this first post on kids’ fighting, let’s examine your own attitude as a parent, as I was forced to examine mine.

Is it possible that your interventions in kids’ fighting sometimes make things worse?  Consider your:

(CLICK to cont. for 6 Ways parent attitudes can affect kids’ fighting…)

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Time and Energy Limits: Do you have time to play with your child?

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In The Power of Parent-Child Play, I focus on how barriers to play can be broken into four different categories: time and energy limits, uncertainty about behavior or activities, lack of motivation, and family stress.

As we start this discussion, consider time and energy barriers. Do any of the following get in your way at the present time?  Which have presented real struggles for  you in the past?

  • Hectic work schedules and demands (working at home or outside employment)
  • Caring for your home and your family’s basic needs
  • High-need children (including colicky babies, or children with special needs)
  • A new baby
  • A busy toddler or preschooler
  • Volunteer activities
  • Illness or injury in extended family
  • Child related activities

Many of these busy activities are good and/or necessary. But do any of them interfere in some way with parent-child play and the intimacy it can bring?

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Appreciation is Like a Boomerang

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A child who knows how it feels to be appreciated is more likely to encourage others.

I saw my daughter Elisa, back when she was a first grader, put this into action. As she sat quietly in the church pew next to me, she spontaneously scribbled a note to our pastor, telling him she loved his “speeches” (especially the stories he wove into his sermons). After the worship service, she insisted on taking her note to him.

Later I wondered: Did any of the other thousand people attending that service—or any of the five thousand there that weekend—think to encourage him that day? I also wondered: How many of the people who clamored around Jesus, as he told his clever parables, thought to tell him, “We love your speeches!”

If  any did, they might well have been children. To this day, children respond to Jesus’ stories. Even a small child grasps the importance of the shepherd who rejoiced at finding his lost sheep.

I also wonder if Jesus found it rejuvenating to hold precious, smiling, loose-toothed children, bursting with eager questions, open hearts, and funny mispronunciations?

On one occasion, His disciples attempted to shoo some children away, seeming to think they should be seen and not heard in the Master’s presence. Jesus, instead, welcomed them into His open arms. He taught the grown-ups that they needed to become more like those children.

As Christ revealed His love for children, those little boys and girls must have responded with eager affection, which I imagined in turn warmed Jesus’ heart.

My daughter Elisa’s encouraging words to our pastor came from deep within her, without prompting. She and her siblings have written countless words of affirmation to me. Many I have saved to reread when I need a boost! Their words have been much like those my children have heard since birth from each other, Mom and Dad, and others.

Appreciation is like a boomerang. Delight in your children, and it will eventually circle around back to you.

Laurie

Laurie Winslow Sargent

YouCanTooMom.Wordpress.com

From: Ch. 1: Delighted or Disillusioned, in Delight in Your Child’s Design.