Kids fighting all the time? This solution is guaranteed to work.
Bonus: it will also build a bond between you and your child, boost their confidence and give them what they want: attention.
We could be in the middle of kid paradise and our boys will figure out a way to fight about something. Most parents who are, well, honest, say their kids fight if not all the time, at least enough to drive parents batty. The solution?
It’s one you won’t like because the good ones are those that are both hard and simple, obvious and secret, painful and refreshing.
I’m on a train right now (and have been for the past 11 hours). My son hasn’t fought with his brother in the past 11 hours. I think that’s a record. No name calling, no taunting, no physically abusing each other, no jealousy, no nudges, grudges or references to the soccer capabilities of the other. He hasn’t talked about his brother, hasn’t even talked to his brother. He hasn’t even mentioned his brother. I’m not even sure he remembers his brother even exists.
Oh wait, his brother isn’t here.
Well, yes, there’s that.
Split Them Up
“Well, duh!” you say, out loud, to the screen you’re reading this on. I know, it’s painfully obvious. It’s like the weight-loss programs that say to eat less and exercise more. Well, duh! But they work. Why do they work? Because they can’t not work. By law.
The obvious solutions that are often the most effective.
My boys love each other*. They have fun together**. They play soccer together*** and hug and compliment each other****.
But a day alone with dad? How about a train ride down the coast? How about skipping school, reading books and playing UNO while eating cheeseburgers and drinking root beer? How about spilling your root beer at lunch and then your iced tea at dinner and no brother to make fun of you?
Two Can Play at this Game!
Is other brother jealous? He’s playing the same game! He’s reaping similar rewards.
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess about something I can’t verify. If I were a betting man (well, I am), I would bet cold hard cash that my other son hasn’t fought with the son who’s been with me all day either. I would bet that he’s also had a special day with his mother at the movies. That they came home and had dinner together and might have even had conversations about topics other than Naruto*****. I don’t know this, but the part about not fighting with his brother? Of that, I am sure.
Maybe you don’t have a partner you can pawn off your other son or daughter onto. Maybe you have more than two kids and having just one to yourself for a day is a luxury that you can’t often afford.
But I was asked for a solution to fighting kids and I gave one. The benefits go deep. It works, guaranteed. If you can make the environment right, it’ll be win-win-win (you-child-other child).
Spend a day (or even an hour) alone with one of your children. Pay attention to them. Let them spill their iced tea (although don’t encourage it). Play Asphalt 8 with them on the iPad. Let them win almost every single time at UNO******. Look at the window at the surfers. Do your work while they do their homework. Make them feel important. Talk with them, teach them things, point out a horse, show them the mountains of salt near San Jose. Be with them, share with them, play with them. But most important, listen to them.
- * That’s what I’ve read in the historical books about siblings.
- ** When it’s play together or homework, they’re a blast together!
- *** Well, like cats: they play together apart.
- **** Just checking if you’re still reading. They don’t do this.
- ***** I don’t actually know what these things are, I just report what I see.
- ****** How did he beat me the entire day? We must have played 20 times. I think I won 2. I want to watch the video security tapes …