Brothers and sisters fight. That’s what they do. You most likely fought your siblings… a lot! How do you cope when your children fight? Here are some thoughts the next time you are called on to be police officer, referee, or judge.
Don’t deal with the fighting based on your mood or energy level or lack of. If the moment doesn’t allow for a resolution, then call a truce but set a time and place for the resolution to happen. Follow through is important. If you don’t, your kids will see that you just didn’t want to deal with them. When that happens, you are now dealing with more than one issue.
Resist the temptation to bail them out with a quick judgement. Listen to what they are saying. The fight usually has roots that go deeper than “I had the remote control first.” Listen to what the kids are saying.
Teach your children how to fight fair. That’s a whole new blog post on it’s own. That’s a book. The main thing is to show your children how to talk about the situation without attacking each other’s character. It is your job to deal with the character issues though. We all want our children to grow. Fighting fair allows each child to talk about the matter and how he/she felt injured or violated. Make them talk with each other instead of using you as the mediator the entire time. That way you are showing your children how to resolve conflict. As a parent, are you modeling conflict resolution in a way that will help your children?
Stay away from favoritism. That is unless you want to create a real-life soap opera that will last your lifetime. Show your children how to respect each other without threats to each other and without threats from you.
Go beyond the truth and make wisdom your goal. Wisdom goes beyond an agreement to not argue. Wisdom goes beyond even the resolution itself. Here’s some Bible to meditate on, “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17-18 NLT.
Wouldn’t that be awesome if you could transform your family into a bunch of peacemakers? Looking forward to the results!