Too Much Fighting!!!

Updated on May 05, 2007
J.T. asks from Wildomar, CA
9 answers

I have 3 children. 10, 7 and 18 months. The older two are consently fighting. It is getting to the point where I just am at my wits end as to what to do. They tease each other and sometimes even become physical. They won't leave each other alone. If one is doing something quiet then the other has to come and bother them. JT is the 10yr old and Katie is the 7yr old.. I have tried seperating them, making them sit with one another saying nice things about the other. Most of the fighting I believe has to do with Joey my 18month old son. JT is like the worst mother hen ever. He trys to be the mother and the father of both kids and it is making my husband and I crazy. We will be sitting right there and if he doesn't like what Katie is doing he will tell her to stop. We as the parents don't have a problem with what she is doing. We have told him till we are blue in the face that "we are the parents not you". We are just so tired of the fighting because it is the moment they wake up until they go to bed. Trust me though Katie is no angel either. What I am afraid of is that Joey will see this behavior and then the fighting will never end!!!!! HELP!!!!!

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C.A.

answers from San Francisco on

When a confict arises, no matter who is at fault, both need to be punished/disciplined or whatever. The one not usually at fault manipulates and has their way (if conscious of it or not) of getting the other in trouble or using them getting into trouble to their advantage. If both are disciplined, they will eventually work together.

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L.D.

answers from Modesto on

I have the exact same problem! I have three kids 8, 6 and 19 months and the two older ones fight just like yours and now when one of the older ones comes to tattle on the other, my 19 month old follows and tells too! I have to tell my 8 year old all the time that we are the parents not him. I threaten that if they don't start getting along I will make them share a room so they will have to learn to get along. (that would probably end up with more fighting than it's worth though) I also work from home three days a week! So here's what I do and it helps a little. We had a huge prblem with tattling so we bought these books and it's a series by Joe Berry and there called " I'm a good kid". One in particular is about tattling and how it hurts the other siblings feelings or they might not want to play with you and how it also aggrivates mom or dad when the tatttling happens. So now my kids are only aloud to tell if someone is hurt or if they are mistreating things we own. So when I here the "Mom" in the tattle tone from one of them, I immediatly stop and ask, "is someone hurt? Is something broken?" If the answer is no then I tell them work it out themselves. My 6 year tries to tell anyway but I cut her off and make her go work it out. This has ended with someone getting hurt a few times in the beggining, but once they learned that I am not a referee, they started to work it out. Every time my older one starts to try to parent my middle one, he gets a ding in his allowance, which he hates so that doesn't happen as often, and every time my middle one starts a fight she gets a toy taken away. He has ended up with no allowance and she has ended up with no toys. They earn them back by not fighting. This takes so much discipline on my part which is hard but we are starting to see some results, which is promising. I totally hear you and I tell my kids at the end of the day all we have is each other. You could have a rotten day at school where your friends weren't very nice or maybe you got teased a little and you get to come home to your family who loves you no matter what. We shouldn't tease or fight with each other because we are all that we have. This works with my older one sometimes but my 6 year old doesn't quit get it yet. I hope some of this helps and if anything at least you know you are not alone, I am right where you are and I will read the other responses to your request to see if they can help me too!

L.

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V.W.

answers from San Francisco on

My 16yo is the mother hen in my family as well - partly in her nature and partly because I am a single mom - - - I remind her in a positive way, "Childhood only lasts a short while and you are already half way through - so enjoy it and let me be the mom."

Other thing that works - I tell the kids to stay out of each other's fights - - - When two are fighting the 3rd and sometimes 4th always try to get into it to "HELP". I remind them to stay out of the fight and go on having fun....

Work on respect - Your husband and you need to try not to scream and yell at them - not to raise your voice - almost to the condescending point - the more aggitated you two become the more negative energy the kids will have to feed off of...

Make one room in the house the "Safe Room" where no one can yell, insult or physically attack or tease - don't forget you and your husband have to follow that rule too...

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A.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Sounds like you have your hands full right now! I would recommend the book "Siblings Without Rivalry" by Faber & Maslich - or maybe some family counseling, which could help the kids express what's going on for them, and help you and your husband find more effective ways of working with the behaviors instead of feeling like you're doing battle all the time. Good luck.

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C.N.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

Dear J.,

Give JT lots more personal attention, and since he is the oldest - that is the way it is in my family, supposedly - since he is the oldest give him more respect. Does he like sports? or tennis or golf? or swimming? He is on a totally different level than Katie - Read up on 10 - 12 year olds, make that 9 - 12 year olds, try to get into what he is thinking and feeling. It is worth the effort if you are able to stop this irritating behavior and will give you and Dad lots of years of a more peaceful household. No kidding. Sincerely C. N.

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K.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

alot of siblings fight and most of it i believe has to do with wanting attition and the main reason is bordom. try to have differnt kinds of activities and alot of out side play. one day at atime i say

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C.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

Have you ever thought about getting them to focus their extra energy on something else? Maybe sports or something. I am a personal trainer for kids I have clients I train in everything from fitness to any sport. Maybe if they trained together with someone other then their parents they will start to get along plus I work the kids out & we have fun so that way they can burn up more energy while becoming healthier and maybe learning a little bit about teamwork. I have trained to brothers before that were not getting along and through them spending time doing something fun together they started to help each other instead of hurt. Worth a try. Email me and let me know what you think. [email protected]____.com

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M.D.

answers from Las Vegas on

OMG, I could have written your letter. It sounds just like the situation at my house. I have 10 and 7 year old boys and a 14 month old daughter and my 10 year old is constantly trying to boss the 7 year old around, especially about the baby. If you find out anything that really works,please send it my way!

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A.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

When you figure out what to do, please let me know. I have found myself in the same position you are in. Its unbearable at times, there are times when my husband just cant take it so he leaves. I guess its not just my kids, my mom tells me that me and my siblings were the exact same way, and that eventually we out grow it, im hoping this is true. My kids are almost 5, 3 and half and almost 2. Good Luck, just wanted to let you know that your not alone!

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