3 reasons why I let my daughters fight it out and sort their matters themselves!
Fighting can be healthy for siblings. Here's how!
My house is always filled with the chatter, laughter and the sing-song talk that comes from having two little girls. And yes, there’s also a lot of tears and fights and shouting and complaining that I hear as well. And guess what – as a mum, I have not tried to change any of that.
Recently, I was talking to a friend who was complaining how most of her day is spent in trying to make her kids stop fighting and reach a settlement. How, when things go out of hand, she ends up yelling herself. Then snatching away their possessions and punishing them by sending them off to different rooms and taking away privileges.
She was telling me how it’s taking a toll on her mental health and peace. I could see she was frustrated and on the verge of giving up.
Yes, I have been there a few times too, when I have thrown my hands up in despair and told my kids that enough is enough. But then, as I said, those occasions have been rare. I have 2 girls aged 9 and 3, and yes, they love each other to bits. They are possessive and protective of each other, but when they fight, they really really do.
And even though it can get really disturbing and annoying at times to hear your kids squabbling. I have chosen to not step in and interfere. Now before you start judging my parenting ways, let me tell you that it’s doing them a world of good actually.
1. They know when to draw the line. The moment I step in as a parent and break up the fight, its over for that time. But then, my girls will not know when they have reached the point in a fight beyond which it is not wise to continue. For instance, a simple case of fighting over a toy – both will want the same toy at the same time.
They will try to snatch it, shout, cry, and sometimes even hit out a little. After a few minutes, they both realise no one is going to give up. Then they might come to me and tell me what an unfair world this is. This when I offer them a solution by suggesting an entirely new activity they can both be part of.
2. They know what is acceptable and what is not. Even when they are fighting, they have never ever hit each other so much that the other person really gets hurt. Which is great actually. They know what hurts, and the only reason they may lash out is to see if the other one will relent and give up.
3. Leading by example. The fact that I don’t jump into the fight and yell or get upset is something that has in a way taught my kids that it is not cool to shout. They know that shouting won’t get them anywhere, because they’ve already tried it on each other and it didn’t work.
So instead, they try all other means too. Such as talking about it, trying to persuade the other, or coming to an understanding of sharing and taking turns. I am proud to lead by example. I’m happy to keep it this way. As long as they are still the loving and caring siblings, a little fighting won’t really do much harm!
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