Every parent has their moment of frustration of not knowing what to do. These steps shall help you cope in those fighting moments. It could be hair pulling, fighting over a toy, insulting each other, whatever the situation may be this information shall help you.
Children Should Learn and See These Things
Before you can deal with the situation at hand, you must be teaching your child the correct behavior all along. They learn their behavior from you, so it’s important to act as calmly as you can in all situations. If you need to, give yourself a time out. Sounds funny, but if you can take yourself out of the situation then your anger will not show when you come back out. Take a few breaths and deal with the situation with a cool head. Now it’s time to list the things that you probably know, but should be teaching your children for a better future with them.
Sharing is going to be a constant issue at first, but if you keep on them in a positive way it will work out for the best.
Praise them for every wonderful thing you notice. Whether it’s a hug, sharing something, playing nicely for long periods of time, anything at all that is absolutely positive. This will encourage their positive behavior. There is no such thing as doing this too much.
Set zero tolerance rules for all negative behavior and take the proper response. Whether it be separating the kids, taking the toy away, time outs, you must explain your action to them and why you are doing it.
Pay attention to your children’s feelings. When they are upset, it is important to talk to them and let them talk out their feelings. Instead of scolding them “Don’t do that to your sister!” It is better to say “It sounds like you are pretty upset with your sister.” These are noticing statements that helps them see you love them unconditionally.
Treat them well when they have showed positive behaviors for a certain time period. You can decide how long it will be. Take it a day at a time for young toddlers, if they behave during the day with minor interruptions then they can go to the park, their favorite place to eat, a friend’s house, make cookies, etc. You decide the amount of hours and where. Making a daily habit of this if they are being well behaved will make them want to earn their treat. No matter how small or big, they will be happy to please you.
It is Important Not to Choose Sides
Most of the time a parent is not in the exact same room as the fighting toddlers. In fact, even if you happen to be it can clearly be seen that it takes two kids to partake in a battle with each other. So the best thing to do is let them be for ten minutes to see if they can work it out themselves. If that is not happening, intervene and see what the fight is about. Then take the following steps depending on the situation.
The Toy That Is Not Being Shared
A toy can be simply settled with a timer. Tell the child that has the toy they can have 10 minutes with the toy and then they have to hand it over when the timer goes off. This will help them because the timing will be equal.
If they are fighting over who gets it first, tell them it can also be settled by taking the toy away from the both of them until they learn how to share it. Do not give the toy back until they let go of the heat of the argument and talk to them equally about the importance of sharing. Yes they will be angry you took the toy, but remember not to give in to their negative behavior. They will eventually start to share again to get the toy back and most likely even apologize to you. When they finally apologize and agree to share, give the toy back.
They might be calling each other names, pulling hair, whatever it may be that has them screaming at each other must be stopped. Always give them ten minutes to work it out themselves and work out their differences on their own. Unless physical harm is happening and a child is getting hurt then step in right away.
If the ten minutes didn’t work, or if you had to step in right away because of physical harm then you must try something else. Separate them so there is no more fighting. Talk to them and pay attention to your children’s feelings. You can set the time limit on what feels right, usually I will do 15 minutes of them playing separately. They will usually amazingly miss each other by then.
If it seems as if nothing else is working, or if they were physically hurting each other a time out is necessary. Sit them on a chair facing a wall, a separate room out of view of each other, or however you want to have the time out. It is usually one minute per age, but you can also use your best judgment.
The website Parenting.com is a wonderful guide to so many things. I would suggest using it for whatever subject you are curious about with parenting or with your children’s needs. I have also watched the show Super Nanny and it turns out she has her own website. Super Nanny has lots of great advice to offer you and the option to view it visually helps. But I hope that my personal factors in this article have also helped you. Links to my sources are below if you would like more information.