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Parenting Perspective: Fighting Siblings

"Dear God, You have to help us! The fighting is driving us crazy. Why can't they just get along?"


It's a desperate prayer we've prayed many times around here.


When did our sweet little children become warring, screaming, mean-spirited soldiers on opposite sides of a battle field? And how do we stop it?


We've tried it all, I'm pretty sure. Get-along shirts, punishments, begging, crying, you name it. Here's the only thing we've found that actually helps with fighting siblings. Are you ready for this???


TURN OFF THE SCREENS.


I know. I might as well have just said hell is going to freeze over tomorrow. I get it. But seriously, it works. As much as I know it works, it still makes me twitch to this day. You have to embrace the complaining and horror for about three days, and then watch your home life transform. Instead of screaming and growling (yes, we have a growler), you're going to hear laughter, creativity, and fun. It'll be worth it.


We accidentally discovered this truth during a media fast a few years ago. Now, when the kids start fighting, we tell them - no more screens for the rest of the week (or however long). It may start as them sort of getting along because they want their screens back, but soon it becomes real. A re-wiring of their brains that helps them significantly.


If you have older children, you may have to set aside a period of time each day when they're allowed to sit in the living room or kitchen and respond to messages, or allow them to use their laptops to do homework. That's unavoidable. But no social media, shows, video games, or that sort of thing. It's transformative.


You might need to have some creative ideas to help them get through those first few days. Play some family games. give them some assignments around the house, or start a family project so it isn't such a shock to their systems. It might be a good time to learn a new skill with them. Or - if you're anything like me - you just send them to the play room and tell them they need to play nicely together. Then, put in your ear buds. LOL.


Have you found anything else that works? I'd love to know. If you decide to try this method, let me now how it goes. I look forward to hearing from you!



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