30 answers

Kids Won't Stop "Picking" at Each Other

I know this is a "normal" sibling issue, but these kids are driving me crazy! My 3yr son and almost 7yr daughter are constantly "picking" at each other. Hair pulling,walking by and pushing,etc. I have tried to send them to separate chairs, time outs,etc but they still keep on. The only way to get them to stop is to stay in the same room and referee.Any ideas or anyone read any good books on siblings? Thanks in advance!

20 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you moms for the great advice! I am going to pick up the Siblings w/o Rivalry book. Also, ya'll have given me some really great ideas to work with and if it takes me trying them all, well so be it! Like so many of you mentioned, I try to remind myself this is pretty common among siblings and more times than not it will work out and they will be close eventually. Thank you again!!!!

Featured Answers

The best advice I have ever received was:
1) If you need to correct a child do it away from their brother or sister or friend. You will then have all their attention.
2) Use the "I" message not the "You" message. They will listen then. (Let them know how you feel about their actions)
As a Granny of 7 and mother of 2 you will get thru this and have many wonderful times.
Bonnie B

5 moms found this helpful

My children are 20 months apart and are now 11 and 12. When they were younger and would constantly pick at each other, I would have them each apologize to the other (after explaining what went wrong that caused the argument) by saying "I'm sorry, can you forgive me?" and the other child responding with "Yes, I forgive you", then have them give each other a hug. The hardest thing for kids to do is apologize, easier to do if taught when they are young. If this concept is not grasped by the child at a young age, it may never be learned. My kids are very kind, caring and loving of each other now and have been for years. I receive compliments all the time on how well behaved my children are. People ask all the time if they ever fight because they appear to get along so well, and in reality they do. They've learned to respect and love each other. Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful

I'm in the same boat! I hate it. They know I hate it and try harder when I'm around. But, as soon as I'm not, they're at it again. I've asked countless moms who I respect about this. They said you have to stop being referree and just separate them for the peace of the family or let them work it out. It's very difficult. We've started not letting them play together unless they commit to "making someone else happy" while they play. As soon as I hear whining, arguing, or fighting I remind them to make someone else happy or the playing will stop. If I have to stop the playing, then I separate them and take those specific toys away as I don't know who started it and don't care. They have to find something else to play with and alone. If that doesn't work - then I put them to work. They have to sweep and mop. Clean their room. Vacuum. Pick up the yard. Clean out the car.
Anything they can do - I don't care about it being done "well" and keeps them busy. Most of the time, I separate them for the chores - but they end up asking to work together and I remind them they have to make someone else happy. They agree and end up working well together. It's quite funny. We've only started this this summer, so we'll see if it is a long term fix. It is helping (not fixing) so far.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Hi J.,

Check out S.T.E.P. (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) program, and there are parenting classes in this:

http://www.ciccparenting.org/StepPrograms.aspx
http://www.parenting-resources.com/systematic-training-ef...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systematic_Training_for_Effe...
http://www.lifematters.com/step.asp

Check out this psychologist & his books:

http://www.carlpickhardt.com/; http://us.macmillan.com/author/carlepickhardt

Carl Pickhardt says, "not getting along" is how siblings "get along."

Perhaps you need to ignore the picking... sounds like they are doing it for your benefit. They may also feel that the baby gets more attention. Negative attention is better than none at all, and they've figured out how to involve you in their squabbles.

Maybe your older child could go to a camp, spend time with a relative, etc. A little separation of the two siblings might help. And, if there’s any way for you to spend some “special”, alone time with each of them, that could help.

A little separation of the two siblings might help. Maybe your older child could go to a camp, spend time with a relative, etc. And, if there’s any way for you to spend some “special”, alone time with each of them, that could help.

I couldn't do it... I tip my hat to you. Good luck! J.

7 moms found this helpful

Hi J.-

My 4 year old daughter and 6 year old son are the same way!! They can be playing together just fine one minute and then they are fighting the next. My son can be reading a book and my daughter will just come by and hit him in the head. It drives me nuts!!

Here's what we have done for the past month or so and it seems to help a little. My husband and I have to keep in mind that some sibling fighting is normal and we don't expect them to be perfect little angels with each other all of the time. Because in our case it seemed to be pretty equal as far as who was the instigator and who was the victim, we established a consequence that applied to both of them regardless of who did what. For example, if my husband or I witness any physical altercations or if one of them comes to us to tattle on the other one for pushing/hitting/touching etc. they both receive the consequence. It's usually no dessert that night and to bed 30 minutes early. When they are out of our sight we hear some fighting going on and I'm sure they have not completely stopped hitting or pushing each other, but they are handling it on their own without coming to us and it definitely is not happening as much as it used to.

Now obviously, if you have one child who is usually picking the fights and the other one is innocent this will not work.

Good Luck,
K.

6 moms found this helpful

J. - Have you tried the advice on this page?
http://www.gomommygo.com/consequenses.html#chair
It worked for my 7 kids!
Best to you and your family!
R.

6 moms found this helpful

I have similar problems and use this method that someone gave me. When a child is mean to a sibling I have the one being mean do an act of service for the other child. ie. make their bed for them, clear their spot at table, do another chore of the other persons. It seems to work really well. The first few times they groan but then they realize that they need to be nicer. Good luck! Pray about what you should do, the Lord will help you guide your little ones.

6 moms found this helpful

This is hilarious, but it works! Have them sit down on the floor (criss-cross with hands on their own knees.)Then, have them scoot in close enough to sit where their noses and foreheads are touching each other. They have to gently sit there (no pushing against each other, etc.)

From here, there are options...
No talking at all
Take turns telling each other something they like about the other (OR my personal favorite!)
Have them repeat, "I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you!!!!!....

This usually makes them start laughing and defuses the situation. My kids were picking at each other and I would tell them, "Alright... nose to nose!" They knew what it meant and would either stop immediately or just start doing it and laughing.

Try it... it works!
Blessings,
M.

5 moms found this helpful

first you need some basic rules:
the simpler the better. mine are:

we do not hurt other people bodies
we do not break things
we do not disrespect the parents

if one rule is broken you state the crime (we do not hurt each others bodies - hitting is NOT nice) then that child sits in time out.

at my house it is an empty corner next to the front door. it is far enough away from the action but still in my sight. the child sits for as many minutes as it is old. (your 3 year old sits 3 minutes ) i have a timer.

when it beebs you go and calmly state the sentence again. then you make the child apologize to the other one or fix the thing that was broken.

and go about your day. never mention it again.

stay calm & be consistent, even if you have guests, or are on the phone or in a restaurant or in the mall.

they need to know that these rules are never to be broken.

I have 4 and it totally works! it is my little secret!
I would go crazy if I did not have this in place!!
(lol)
email me if you need more help! :)
____@____.com

-C.

5 moms found this helpful

The best advice I have ever received was:
1) If you need to correct a child do it away from their brother or sister or friend. You will then have all their attention.
2) Use the "I" message not the "You" message. They will listen then. (Let them know how you feel about their actions)
As a Granny of 7 and mother of 2 you will get thru this and have many wonderful times.
Bonnie B

5 moms found this helpful

We have a little saying at our house, "If it's not fun for everyone, then it's not fun for anyone."

They are both bullying each other. Allowing the picking reinforces this behavior. Just remind them that, "in this family, we love and respect each other." Then I'd give separate talks as events happen. If brother pushes sister, talk about how men treat ladies gently. If sister pushes brother, talk about how we take care of everything smaller than us. Then you model how to find a positive quality about each child and have them do the same. Require that they use words with each other (stop referee-ing) to get their siblings attention.

Show them how to giggle and tickle and be silly, but let them know when their picking is out of line and provide appropriate guidance and consequences.

4 moms found this helpful

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