Let your kids fight: experts
PARENTS should encourage their fighting children to resolve the conflict themselves rather than intervening, experts have advised.
Children who overcame sibling arguments without the help of mum or dad were more likely to develop better problem-solving skills, than those who relied on parent intervention.
Raising Children Network executive director Dr Julie Green said, while parents might be tempted to mediate sibling arguments, it was best to sit back and let the kids work it out for themselves.
“Kids grow up with understanding parental authority, but sometimes you have to let them work through fights on their own and it does help with developing life skills,” Dr Green said. “But parents must know when to step in – if there’s name calling, general nastiness, or anything physical, than you should intervene.
“It is important to teach your kids about disagreeing respectfully and treating one another with respect.”
But Dr Green said it was healthy for siblings to bicker every once in a while and not all fights should be perceived as bad. “Fights and resolving conflicts teaches them how to get on with their peers, to share and take turns,” she said.
Other tips for managing sibling conflict included setting rules on what is “acceptable” and “unacceptable” behaviour.
Punishments included taking away favourite toys or privileges – such as attending activities. “Parents should stick to a discipline routine and ensure they keep consistent on how they handle disagreements,” Dr Green said.
“Family rules are a great place to come back to.”