Boys Fighting

Updated on May 05, 2008
J.B. asks from Akron, OH
15 answers

Ok, I know boys will be boys and all. But my sons fight constantly, at least once a day. I try and let them fight it out on their own sometimes, but that doesn't seem to be working and they can get pretty rough sometimes. How the heck am I supposed to get them to stop fighting?

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So What Happened?

Well, I do want to thank everyone for their advice. To answer the question of ages. My oldest son is six, my middle child is five, and I have an 11 month old baby. All boys. The two oldest are 17 months apart. I will definitely try some of the advice that was given tome and let you know how it's going.

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answers from Cleveland on

I finally got a bowl and wrote out a chore on each of several slips of paper (wash kitchen trash can, sweep floor, clean junk out of car, weed a flower bed, straighten bookshelf, etc.). When one of them is physically aggressive with the other, they have to pick a chore. If the other retaliates physically, they get one, too. They're not allowed to tattle unless they've tried to use nice words to explain to the other how he makes them feel when he does that. Things have definitely improved, but it's a matter of sticking with it and being willing to be nearby to officiate. I've avoided the "let them work it out" thing because it allows for too much injustice for the one who's normally not the instigator (which was me as a kid, so I was often bullied by my big sis... makes me sensitive to that).

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answers from Bloomington on

Boys fight, siblings fight. I'm a grandmother with two sons who drove me to distraction, but are now successful adults who remain very close. We didn't do corporal punishment, although I did resort to chairs in the opposite corners (of the house!)from time to time. Our sons were different on many levels but shared some common interests. We were careful to praise each for his own talents and NEVER EVER compare the two to each other. Behavior, either positive or negative, was always an individual issue. Persevere and this too shall pass. I don't know how old your sons are but late elementary and early middle school should start bringing calmer days. (They still fight but it's different--more like adult disagreements.) Ours now have children of their own and have worked through their own "battles". It's part of the sibling experience. Good luck and remember to stay calm and patient. If they can't get you frazzled, you're already ahead.



answers from South Bend on

I have 4 boys... my oldest 3 are very close in age (I had twins 25 months after my oldest son was born ~ they're now 11, 9, and 9). They fight and bicker a lot! LOL! One of my favorite punishments is to put them in "time out," holding hands, and sometimes hugging! They hate it, but they always end up laughing by the time they're done. ;-)



answers from Terre Haute on

How old are your boys? Shannon G.



answers from Cleveland on

Hi J.! Aren't boys funny? My boys are 10 and 11 (15 months apart), and all they do is get on each other's nerves! Honestly, it's been like that for a long time. It's a love/hate thing! They love playing together, but start bickering. If one of them is gone to play with a friend, the other can't wait for him to get home. I think it's just a boy thing. I feel like I'm constantly telling my boys to get along, but it gets old real quick. Now that the weather is getting nicer, get them outside and out of your hair!! I've just decided to do my best to enjoy them, because I know that deep down -- they love each other!



answers from Cincinnati on

Of my 4 kids, two of them are boys 24 months apart. As they were growing up they could be the best of friends or the worst of enemies all in the same day. From the ages of 10 months and 22 months to 12 and 14 years I was the only parent so you could essentially say I was always the only parent they had. The rule in our house was I didn't interfere unless there was blood and I stuck to that rule. There was no way I could, should or would get in the middle of every little argument or fight they got into growing up. If I had they would never had learned to resolve any issue themselves with their own words. I'm not saying I just set them loose and let them have at it. I taught them skills to resolve conflicts between themselves peacefully; conflict resolution skills, made myself available if they asked, writing things down and not fighting when angry are some. But they are boys and they still resorted to fists and feet and I was on top with the discipline when the blood came through. You'll never get them to stop fighting is the bottom line. The important thing is giving them ground rules to follow and making sure you are as consistant as possible with the rules to make everybody's life more pleasant.




answers from Fort Wayne on

Perhaps try to help them to resolve the issues and cope with the stress of being upset. They need to learn to use their words to work out problems, trade, take turns, and work out problems in a diplomatic way... like adults should (as we hope the government would more often... hee hee).

Sit with them and help them work out their little issue for the day. One of the boys wants the toy, then I try to help them barter the other child for a different toy or take turns, toss a coin, or no one gets it and they need to find something else to do. There should never be hitting.

When my boys fight, hit, hurt feelings, I encourage them to say sorry for hurting the other, give a hug, etc.

Kids are learning social skills that will pull them thoughout every situation in their lives. I hate it when my boys fight because I know they use those same reasoning skills when they're around other kids. I don't want my kids using fighting, hitting and name calling as a last resort to get what they want. I think they need to learn they are not always going to feel like they won after the battle. They should feel content with working things out.

Talk out sharing, finding more toys, using the toys in a different way, or putting the toy aside and finding something else to do. Help them think outside the box of reasoning to find resolutions. If they both want the same Power Ranger or Basketball, help them make up a new game where they both get to play with it. They can run the toy through a little obstacle or war scenario. Each time they get to a certain point they get to fight with the Power Ranger. Then they go onto the next little fighting scenario. They could play basketball and shoot from one spot with the special ball. Then when they go to the next spot they use a different ball. Or you can always resort to playing with it for five minutes then switching. Or playing with it for the morning, then switch in the afternoon.

Or help them work out different things like having a friend spend the night or going to the movies and choosing which movie they want. Use your imagination.



answers from Dayton on

Don't try to figure out who started it, or who is more wrong. Just give them one warning and if they don't quit, punish them both for not being able to get along with each other.



answers from Indianapolis on

HOW much do you talk about appropriate & inappropriate behavior? Where is it appropriate, set a time & time limit if they want to "fight or wrestle", but a punching bag; but stick to making consequences for inappropriate behavior....EVEN IF it's inconvenient to you.

Pick a fight with one of them or your husband, etc. and let them see how annoying it is. Let them know it was staged, etc. But they need to see it from another perspective. Maybe it can even be about something they want to do, etc and yet you fight about a resolution.



answers from Youngstown on

we used to have our girls (when they USED TO fight) - "say something that you like about each other and give your sister a hug." They don't fight anymore! Could be coincidence?!



answers from Indianapolis on

Sibling rivalry is normal. The best method of stopping some of it is to refuse to allow them to play together for the rest of the day if they get into fight. This includes during time you would be playing with them. If you are playing with one the other can't be involved.

P. R



answers from Cleveland on

I have 2 boys that are 20 months apart. They are both best friends and worst enemies on the same day, just as someone else wrote. One thing I read in a book is that the closer in age the boys are, the more sibling rivalry there will be. As long as there are time that they continue to enjoy being togeher, it's "normal," aka boys being boys.



answers from Columbus on

I have three girls, the older two are 7 & 5. There is not a day that goes by when they don't fight about something. We have a money jar. Fighting and argueing costs them each $0.10. If the fighting gets to the point where I must or am called to intervene, then they each owe me a dime and I make the fight end. Usually the older girl has money and the younger doesn't so she must do a chore to pay the money jar. If they are feeling especially chummy (why would they be fighting then? you got me!), the older girl will pay the younger one's fine for her! They are the bestest of friends and play for hours together, but fight like the world will end also. That's just the way siblings relate!



answers from South Bend on

Good luck with that! My boys fight day in and day out. My husband and I have tried everything we could think of to stop it but with little success. We may give them a time out or send them to their room and it will stop the fighting very briefly. It is difficult when you have boys. We have let them fight it out amongst themselves but to no avail because one or more always winds up hurt. I know exactly what you are going through and I feel bad but even I haven't found anything to stop them from fighting. They are usually good when dad is home but when he goes to work the crud hits the fan and it goes on almost all night until they go to bed. Unfortunately dad works second shift from 3:30 p.m. to midnight or later. He is a diesel mechanic and they do service calls as well. The company is available 24 hrs. 7 days a week. I wish you the best and try not to pull your hair out!

I am 31 and have been married for almost 12 yrs. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 10,7 and 4.



answers from Cleveland on

LMAO, I have 2 boys and I wish they would only fight once a day. They fight all day till bed time and even then they are still going at it. Sometimes I have to keep them in different rooms to stop the fighting and keep myself sane! I also will take toys away or stand them in the corner. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.

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