So, it’s Summertime. Exciting, right? Wrong. You have children who are bored to death and full of energy. That means one thing: fighting.
That’s right, from dusk until dawn, they are bickering as though their very lives depended on it. Wait, did they take a break? Nope, they were just pausing to eat you out of house and home, then return to fighting.
I know you’re on the verge of tearing out your hair, but the question still remains: will my kids EVER stop fighting? There are a couple reasons why you’re being subjected to this racket from dawn until dusk.
Let’s face it: siblings are going to be siblings. Since Cain and Abel, siblings haven’t seen eye to eye from time to time, and there has been (hopefully less drastic than the aforementioned) evidence of that playing out in real time in your living room. There are toys that they want to play with that someone else has. A special plate that everyone wants to use, but only one can each off of. There is a TV remote at stake here. Siblings squabble over turf, and it is just a fact of life.
They want attention
A child who wants attention, either from you or from their sibling, goes about it in different ways. One of those ways is finding a child who is happily playing, and pushing him off of the couch. Got her attention, didn’t it? The only problem is, now the once-peaceful child has a sore butt and a disrupted whatever she was doing. Hence, screaming, fighting and hair pulling.
It can also demand your attention as the cries of injustice are certain to pull you from wherever in the house you were to find out what exactly was going on. More attention. See, children don’t always care if it is positive or negative, they want what they want, and that’s that. Grin and bear it, mom. Sometimes they just want the undivided attention of EVERYONE and the best way to do that is to be the squeaky wheel.
Surprisingly, children also argue because they are just a little bit stressed out. According to this article from The Washington Parent, children sometimes fight with their siblings because they feel safer. After all, your friends and neighbors aren’t obligated to be nice to you, but you know who is? Your big brother. If not, Mom might come and lay down the law. When you have backup, it is a lot easier to express your displeasure over someone using the pink blanket when they know you prefer that one.
Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for: what do I do? Well, according to the experts, nothing. That’s right. Let them fight it out. According to this article by Psychology Today, it is best to stay calm, relax, and let them sort it out themselves. Allowing children to fight it out allows them to develop problem solving skills, manage tricky emotions, and prepares them for the real world conflict they will one day face away from your home. AKA, unless they are getting out of control, you get to stay out of it. I bet you’d spend your whole summer as a referee, huh?
In short, siblings fighting is not only normal, it is a healthy part of their development. You might be sick of hearing them shriek and torment each other, but they’re learning life skills. That’s what it is really all about, right? Now grab some noise canceling headphones, and enjoy the rest of summer break without worrying.