In this free article I want to teach you how you can be freed of your kids fighting with other children for once and for all!
When children argue, most parents are inclined to intervene immediately and interrogate the children about what has happened and who did what. Some parents only interrogate one child, while other parents interrogate both children in an effort to learn the truth. You may think that questioning both children is the better option of the two. However, I’m now telling you that you don’t have to question anyone! When children are arguing with each other, they need to resolve this situation themselves! It is not your call to solve this for them. When you try to resolve the argument regardless, your child will never learn to solve their own problems.
Now you may be thinking: ”Yeah, right, but my child is only 3 years old!” Even when children are very small, such as 3 years of age, in general they are very capable of solving problems like this all on their own! If you allow them, you will see how soon they will learn this! And even if you think that solving their own quarrels is still too difficult for them, I would like to encourage you to hand over the process to your child anyway, as there is no other way to learn this besides doing it themselves! The only condition I can think of is that your child needs to be able to communicate with other children. If this is not the case, your help will definitely be needed. However, bear in mind that helping is very much different to taking over the whole procedure!
Step 1. Simply verbalise the emotion/need you think you’re witnessing
When your child comes to you crying because another child hit them or took away their toy without their permission, the only thing you need to do is verbalise the emotion or the need you think you’re witnessing.
If you think your child is angry or sad, you say: ‘You are angry, right?’ or: ‘You are very upset?’
If you think your child is disappointed because he wants to play with the truck, you say: ‘You’re disappointed because you want to play with the truck, correct?’
Step 2. Do the same thing with the other child
If the other child with whom your child is having an argument is still around, you do the same thing with them. For instance, you may say: “You’re very angry because you want to play with the truck too?”
In some cases, these steps will suffice. It will encourage children to resolve the argument themselves.
If this is not the case, continue with the following steps:
Step 3. Tell the children that you don’t want to resolve this
Say something like: “I know that you can sort this out all by yourself. I don’t want to resolve this, because I don’t want to act like a judge or a referee.”
Step 4. Let go of it!
Please have faith in your child – they are capable of so much more than most parents think! Your child may not want to resolve this problem at the time or not at all. That is ok too; it is their argument, not yours. If they need help, they know where to find you!
After I did this only twice with my child, and I think she was about 3 years of age, she never again came to me when she was having an argument. Instead, she resolved the argument herself. For years, I heard her say that she found it childish if children needed their parent to resolve an argument!
One last thing: never force your child into shaking hands to make amends. Most children don’t feel sorry for what they did and by forcing them to say sorry, you’re actually teaching them to lie! When you feel uncomfortable, for instance because it was your child who hit another child, you can always apologise yourself to the other child and/or the parent.
I hope this article helps you! I would love to hear your experiences with this topic. As always, you’re invited to leave your comments and questions!