Fighting the good fight
SQUABBLES AMONG SIBLINGS CAN TEACH CHILDREN VALUABLE LIFE SKILLS
If your kids constantly fight with each other, don’t despair. All that emotional energy isn’t going to waste. According to a recent study, sibling fights teach children important conflictresolution skills. In fact, parents who stop their children arguing may well be depriving them of important learning opportunities.
Researcher Laurie Kramer, from the University of Illinois in the US, found that kids who learn how to argue with their siblings had more advanced emotional development.
Anecdotally, sibling fighting is one of the biggest impediments to parents enjoying family life. Many parents say if their children stopped bickering, their lives would improve dramatically.
Many parents also worry that children who fight will not get along as adults. The evidence doesn’t support this view. The test for strong families is more about the willingness for kids to pull together when the chips are down rather than the frequency of the squabbling.
Healthy families know how to fight well. When parents take an active approach to helping their children resolve their fights, they are teaching them a valuable life skill as well as reducing the incidence of fighting over the long term. Here are some ideas: Kids wear L-plates when it comes to solving disputes. Some kids yell, get abusive or even physical when they are settling disputes. Show them better ways of sorting out problems by talking things through with your partner, compromising and apologising when you’ve upset your partner or your children.