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Fight! Fight! 7 Practices to Keep Peace in Your Home

April 19, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 143

I never knew how well girls fought until I had two daughters. They wrestle and tackle like the guys on WWF. Of course, my friends with boys usually speak vocally about the matches held within their home. No holds barred, the boys attack and hold no prisoners.

I grew up with a brother. We didn't wrestle like my girls or attack like my friends' boys, but we could verbally fight it out like two opposing sides on a Fox News interview. For families with multiple children the pain induced by siblings goes up incrementally based on the number of kids present. They team up two or three to one and so on.

Fights between kids date back to the beginning of man when Cain and Abel had it out in the original death match.

What can we do, as parents, to lessen the damage and strengthen the brother/sister bond?

1. Attend to the good stuff. Have you noticed? Kids love attention. They aren't particular about what kind of attention they love. If they get it for being kind and courteous, awesome. But if they get it for being obnoxious and loud, they'll still take it. Our task as parents becomes emphasizing the attention for positive stuff and de-emphasizing the negative. Depending on your kid this can be tough, but it really pays off in the family.

2. Beware of the Second Snaffoo. I recently read comments by kids on what they wanted other kids to know about parents. One comment said, "Parents catch the second person, not the first." I wondered about this and went to my kids. I asked, "Do I usually discipline the person who starts a problem or the one who responds?" Both girls agreed, I disciplined the responder. Shoot. Something got them to the point of no return.

This doesn't mean we shouldn't discipline an over enthusiastic responder, but we should be aware that we probably missed something.

3. Enjoy the child, not just their actions. The love of a child for a parent comes with conditions every day. How we act, what we say, how we say it. The love of a parent for a child exists because the child exists. We started loving them the moment they exited the womb, when they had done nothing but poop and cry. Our children need to know our love comes regardless of what they do.

4. Make special time for each child (and make it fit the child). Some people call it a Mother/son date or a Daddy/daughter date. It can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be, but one on one time matters. Go to a movie, eat an ice cream cone, walk in the mall, throw a ball at the park just spend time together. You are building a unique relationship with each child. The time will come when they go their way and the connections remain because of this time. It provides precious opportunity to prove the above mentioned ideas.

5. Process the problem. Kids lack the skills to solve their own problems and they usually don't know what the real problem is. For this reason, they attack. We help them but asking open ended questions after they have calmed down to enable them to articulate why they acted the way they did. We help them to think of alternate actions or words. The hardest part comes as we live out what we teach.

We will mess up and our honesty before our kids will help them to realize mistakes are okay.

6. Provide a calm down space. The time-out chair has received much attention as a discipline tool. Designating a space within your home for cool down also helps. As children grow older, they could be given the freedom to begin a conversation with a parent once they feel they have calmed down. When the blood is boiling, good conversations rarely happen. Younger children should be given a designated time for cool down. As a parent, you check to see if they really have cooled.

7. Pray for each other. The power of prayer cannot be underestimated. When children are encouraged to pray for their siblings they begin to see each other with God's eyes. Through His divine help, they develop the ongoing relationships we dream they could experience.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7 This will be an ongoing parenting struggle. Our persistence and willingness to try will matter more than any wonderful skill we attain. Think about the people who shaped your life. They weren't perfect, but they continued to make an effort. Every effort matters.

Do you struggle with in fighting? How have you addressed this problem in your home?

Paula's writes and speaks to help couples and families grow through her faithful choices approach to life. As a wife, mom, ordained pastor and persistent friend Paula knows the value of the choices we make each day. She longs to help people get where they want to go by helping them see the choices available to them. As the Faithful Choice Advocate Paula writes a daily blog at

Source: EzineArticles
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