Instead of taking sides when kids fight, treat them the same.
Talk to both kids using a calm nonjudgmental voice. Fire yourself from being the judge the jury or the referee.
Instead act surprised while noticing the fact.
“Something happened! You both look angry. Your arm is on your brother and your brother is crying.
Remember there is no excuse for abuse. Sometimes when we want something we have to let it go and think our way into a powerful place.
You can work this out peacefully now or you can take some chill time to make yourself feel better. What do you choose? I think going apart is a good idea.
I know the two of you can figure this out. "If you need my help I’ll be in the Kitchen." Fighting will diminish significantly when you stop taking sides.
When they are ready to solve the problem. Have one child listen and the other share how they feel.
- Have the listener repeat what they heard before sharing what they want. Then have the other child recreate before going on to the next question.
What will you do?
You may want to make a poster with these three powerful questions for resolving conflict...
Remember the person listening is in charge of repeating what he/she heard. Then they check in and ask do I understand you? They wait to take their turn only after they recreate the feelings of their brother or sister.
Remember to model this as parents with how you communicate. Remember monkey see monkey do.
How many of you want your children to be good negotiators and have strong healthy relationships? Remember conflict is a teachable moment. Remember what you resist persists. Welcome fighting it's the perfect opportunity to teach communication skills. When children feel understood. They will behave better. Take time to really listen and recreate their feelings.