Does sibling fighting make you want to pull out your hair? The easiest & simplest trick to stop bickering and bring more peace into your home. Plus, if you want to stay calm, why the Stop Yelling Handbook is your first line of defense.
The Easiest Way to Stop Sibling Fighting
We recently took our family on a nice beach vacation.
My youngest whose four hasn’t flown ever (I know, I know…) so she’s never seen the beach like my older ones have. I was so excited to get there and watch her face when she saw the ocean for the first time.
But, something was derailing my excitement from the very start.
The constant fighting.
And it didn’t just stop once we parked at the airport and made our way to the gate to make headway to California.
Their fighting continued the entire week we were gone.
It felt like every second was sabotaged with sibling fighting, and I hated it.
It was nit picky stuff like who picked the best seashell, or who sat in what seat in the rental car, who got the first plate for breakfast, and if someone was chewing with their mouth open… (gasp!)
I know sibling fighting is totally normal, but I had some kumbaya visions for our vacation, and listening to them fighting was not a part of them.
I have to tell you, there was definitely more than a couple times when all I wanted to do was yell, ‘Stop fighting!” but I didn’t.
I wanted to scream a dozen times, “We’re on vacation, there’s no fighting!” but I didn’t.
(The Stop Yelling Handbook is my favorite starting guide to help you stop yelling if this sounds like you.)
The Light Bulb Moment to Stop Sibling Fighting
It wasn’t too long before I realized that if our vacation was going to feel like a success, and I was going to enjoy myself, I had to lower my expectations and pick my battles.
That’s when I decided to be the “sports announcer” to my kid’s fighting, instead of the “referee.”
Fighting is a power struggle for kids – not only a power struggle to some invisible hierarchy they believe exists between themselves, but how they think their parents see them.
In their minds, they’re constantly jesting for attention to get that top dog rank.
So how does being a sports announcer or referee work?
“Sports announcers” acknowledge both sides of the situation and each child’s feelings.
When you’re a “referee,” kids interpret you picking sides, or rather picking one child over another. That’s a recipe for building even more animosity between kids and leads to even more fighting.
The Easiest Sibling Fighting Solutions
This is how you can stop sibling fighting without jumping in between your kids or worse, yell
When you’re a “sports announcer,” your job is to give the play-by-play to the situation and acknowledge everything that’s going on.
My husband is a sports broadcaster so I basically channeled him while I did this on vacation and called the situation as I saw it.
I wasn’t partial to one side or the other; I simply stated the facts as I saw them unfold in front of me.
I didn’t pick a side.
I didn’t single out one child.
I stayed calm and replayed the shots as they unfolded.
It’s a win-win when you approach it this way because everyone gets heard and no one feels like they’ve lost.
The next time your kids are fighting, try the sports announcer and not the referee approach and see what happens.
What also helped me stay calm where all the tools I teach in my course, Calm Parenting: Learn How to Stop Yelling.
It’s not open again until the Fall, but I do have the next best thing if you need a little help to stay calm and not yell.
The Stop Yelling Handbook is a 22-page beginner’s guide to help you on your way to be a calmer parent and keep your cool in stressful situations like when your kids are fighting on vacation, or you’re trying to make dinner and the noise is off the charts.
Staying calm was the biggest part of being a “sports announcer” and not a “referee” when it came to handling my kid’s constant bickering.
If I were to raise my voice, it immediately amps up the situation and causes my children to switch into their middle brain (more on brain development here.)
- New Ideas to Help You Practice Calm Parenting & Stop Yelling When You Feel Mad
- Sibling Rivalry: 10 Magic Tips to Help Siblings Get Along
- Sibling Rivalry: Create a Loving Bond Between Your Kids
- Peacefully Put an End to Power Struggles Once and For All
- 5-Steps to Control Your Anger with Kids & Stay Calm