My kids are always fighting! What do I do?

Your kids have to share a lot of things. Things like the bathroom, their personal space and their most prized possession: you! Seriously, sibling rivalry stems from a deep down feeling of possessiveness, worry about being replaced and jealousy. While these feelings can be understood, fighting behaviors cannot be allowed. Here are some tips to keep sibling rivalry behaviors to a minimum:

Spend one-on-one time with each of your children regularly. Giving each of your kids a chance to have your attention all to themselves will help them feel special and boost their self-esteem. If you make it a point to do this for each of your kids, no one will feel left out.

Set some ground rules. These can be made at family meetings or as the need arises. To start: no hitting or hurting each other physically, not taking each other’s things and no name-calling. Remember to set up some logical consequences.

Give each of your children their own private space. Even if they have to share a room, a child should have a place to keep private things as everyone needs a little privacy. A foot locker, a closet, bookshelves, etc. are a few ideas.

Teach your child how to use conflict resolution skills. Compromising is usually a very good skill to teach fighting siblings.

Set up a behavior chart if physical fighting gets out of hand. There is no reason for your smallest child to be sporting bruises. Be clear with your kids that kind of behavior has to stop, or they will pay the consequences. Make this clear by writing it down and following through should the behavior happen again.

Help your kids understand what sibling rivalry is all about. The internet can help with this. Here are a few sites that your kids can use to learn about sibling rivalry from their perspective:

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