How to stop kids from annoying each other - is it possible?
Are your kids' constant squabbles driving you round the bend? Find out how to stop your children from annoying each other... keep reading!
All you parents who have two or more children will know how they seem to have this innate ability to annoy each other at times. Sometimes this is unintentional, but there are children who go out of their way to annoy their siblings on purpose.
My boys – aged 4 and 2 – certainly know how to get on each other’s nerves. They also seem to do it with impeccable timing… usually right when I want to relax or get some work done! Sometimes I manage to get them to stop annoying each other. But other times it escalates in to a full-blown shouting/complaining/crying fiasco.
So how do you stop sibling squabbles escalating to the stage where you need a UN Peace Envoy to intervene? Here are some great (and tried-and-tested) tips just for you!
Give each child something to keep him occupied
Sometimes, children pester each other out of sheer boredom. This may happen when they are in a confined space for a long time, such as in a car or an airplane.
To stop kids from annoying each other in such situations, come well-prepared with adequate materials to keep them busy, like colouring books, games, books, videos etc.
Separate the children
Kids often annoy each other because they see too much of each other all the time. If your kids seem to be squabbling with each other too often, give them different things to do in separate parts of the house.
If they are old enough, assign them different chores. Or let them each go to a friend’s house for the afternoon.
If you have younger kids like I do, have them in the same room, but sitting away from each other and doing different tasks.
Have a ‘squabbling corner’
The truth is there will probably be times when siblings annoy each other – it’s inevitable. But if you’re tired of intervening when it gets out of hand, send them to a designated ‘squabbling corner’ to battle it out (this will work with older kids). Tell them that once they decide to stop fighting they can leave the corner but till then, they need to work out their issues by themselves.
Set up a ‘squabbling table’
If the ‘squabbling corner’ doesn’t work, try setting up a ‘squabbling table’. Schedule a time each night (not more than 30 minutes) for your kids who constantly annoy each other, to sit down and squabble. You’ll be surprised at how quickly they’ll stop arguing because they’ll feel silly coming up with things to quarrel about! Tell them that if they don’t annoy each other and fight during the day, they won’t have to sit down at the ‘squabbling table’ at night.
Discipline them when they annoy each other
Often when kids annoy each other, one will tell tales about the other to you or your partner. Telling tales is as undesirable as squabbling. Tell the kids that annoying each other, fighting and telling tales are all unacceptable behaviour and discipline them as you see fit.
Encourage one to be the ‘peace-maker’
My younger son loves annoying his brother. He’ll do this in many ways, such as screaming for the toy his brother is playing with, demanding to wear the shoes his brother is wearing, or by hitting him or pulling his hair. I’ve told my older son that when his brother purposely annoys him like this (especially with the hitting/pulling hair), to not retaliate, but to say “let’s hug” instead. When he does this, the impending fight stops automatically and they end up hugging each other and giggling!
Reward them when they get along
Show your kids that you are pleased with them when they do not annoy each other, and that is the preferred behaviour. Tell them explicitly why you are rewarding them, such as by saying “I’m really happy that you and your sister didn’t annoy each other and fight today. So I’ m taking you both out to lunch/a movie, etc.”
How do you stop kids from annoying each other? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment!