How to handle sibling fights

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How to handle sibling fights

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Sibling squabbles, sibling fighting, sibling tousling, whatever it is, it's a challenge in any family where there are more than two kids. There are a couple of things that don't work to help squash that fighting or get it to diminish. But before I talk about that, it's really important for parents to understand that fighting is the most cooperative activity on the planet. So when two kids engage in a fight, they're both basically saying, sure, I'll go along with this. And the reason they agree to go along with it is they're trying to engage mom and dad. They're fairly certain that if they escalate to a certain volume a parent is going to come in and say knock it off. Stop fighting. You go to your room. And that's another way for kids to connect. So one of the things I recommend that parents try is just to bring that the child's attention. Oh, I see you guys have decided to cooperate by fighting. When you're done with that, I have a job sorting bolts in the garage that requires some cooperation, so I'll see you out there. So the kids have now got a re-framing of what fighting really is, and the parents can use this a lot. What really doesn't work is trying to come in and referee, find out who did what to whom, you're the bad guy so you have to go to your room. You're the victim, so let's make you feel better. All that happens is this plays out every single day for years. So we want to break that dynamic and introduce a new dynamic into the family.

See Vicki Hoefle's video on How to handle sibling fights...

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Vicki Hoefle

Professional Parent Educator

Vicki Hoefle is a professional parent educator with over 20 years experience teaching parents, educators and caregivers how to raise respectful, responsible and resilient children. Hoefle combines her expertise in Adlerian Psychology and as an International Coaching Federation certified coach to bring parents Duct Tape Parenting, a sustainable and proactive parenting strategy that provides time-tested tools for harvesting a happy and peaceful family life. Her informative and highly engaging presentation style keeps her in demand as a speaker, facilitator and educator. Hoefle is a mother of six and lives in Middlebury, Vermont.

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