When will my kids stop fighting?(15 Posts)
I'm at my wits' end. I have three kids, two boys aged 9 and 6 and a girl of 3. The boys hate each other and have done since the younger one was about 2. Their behaviour is getting worse and worse as they get older. It's now at the point that we can't have any day trips or even a trip to the park without their being a massive melt down. We have a 'three strikes' rule about naughty behaviour so it's meaning that we are more often than not abandoning days out and going home. My poor daughter misses out on everything because of her brothers. My second boy is particularly aggressive and impulsive. He never listens to anything we ask him to do and loses his temper on a whim. He's always had problems at school with lashing out at other children and generally doing daft and impulsive things. He often says he wishes his brother was dead. I'm worrying now that they are older the squabbling is turning to fist fights. I've had to abandon a trip to the park today after they ended up punching each other and rolling around on the grass after a game of football went awry. I feel like me and my DH set clear boundaries about behaviour, there are consequences for not behaving and rewards for doing the right thing but still our kids are like a rolling riot when we go out. What else can I try?
Have you had DC2s ears checked and are you working with the school on his behaviour?
The school haven't really offered much intervention or support. He had a 'naughty book' in nursery which they wanted to carry on on Reception but I refused as it was so negative for him to have every misdeed written down and read to me or his dad at pick up. However the school might have to do something now as ds2 bundled ds1 to the ground in assembly this morning in front of whole school.
I know I can't make my kids like each other but, Jesus. What are we doing wrong to make him think this is an ok way to behave?
I'm sure his ears are fine. He just doesn't want to listen to anything!
If they have phones take them away. If they have consoles take them away. If they have technology (computers) take them away. Make them sit round the table and play a board game every night and if they aren't nice to eachother throughout then they aren't getting their technology back until the same day next week. If there is any bad behaviour at school or on trips out they don't get any treats or pocket money or anything they want for a week. Also make them help with housework like hoovering and make them read one book every week. It's harsh but take everything from them until they behave
I few like I'm not going to be good advice , but have you tried house chores and a smack ? Is this allowed in the UK? Never had to smack my child but I know things have changed and even a smack on the bum can be seen as child abuse nowadays so maybe it's not the best advice but , I certainly wouldn't let kids walk over me and fist fight, I was brought up in a very strict family , grandad was a army soldier and we went to military school , we would lose our rights to even watch TV if we misbehaved , when we were at home we had chores , there was no time for fighting , the free time we had was for enjoying life and studying . No was no. If they aren't rude to you then it's not the end of the world , get them to do things separately , play in the park separately , and do small chores together , things that have to be accomplished together , kids sometimes unite when they are together in "punishment" like setting the table or taking rubbish out. Don't lose hope . Take control.
So what have you said to him tonight after his behaviour this morning?
He's forfeited a sleepover he was due to go on this weekend and had to do his homework early after school - they normally have until Friday.
Thing is, those kinds of losing stuff punishments are wasted on my kids. The younger one already has lost all his toys (they are in a box in within his eyeline). He earns one back if he does well and it goes again if he's naughty. The most extreme action of this kind we've undertaken was cancelling Christmas two years ago. No presents, no nothing. They sulked for about an hour and then it was back to usual squabbling. I just think they are immune to the loss of privileges approach now after nearly 5 years of it.
And they are too young to have phones or pocket money. They have a kindle each but it spends more time confiscated than in use.
OP have you thought about counselling for them? Maybe there's a deeper reason why they are upset with each other ? It seems like you know how much you tried and what would work yet nothing seems to work . Best of luck xx
I think losing a sleepover at the weekend isn't an instant enough punishment at age 6, they need something more immediate, like an early bedtime and no tv. Have you read Adventures in Gentle Discipline?
Has he said why they were fighting? My DC2 often attacks DC1 but only after he's spent ages winding her up.
Are you trying to do anything to reduce the rivalry? Have a read of this from the University of Michigan.
If you want MHO, I think they are getting too much attention for bad behaviour.
Could you take one boy and the girl the park in the morning then swap the boys over with their father at home in the afternoon so they at least get a break from each other and a chance to run? Or just take the girl out it seems really unfair on her
I recommend the book Siblings Without Rivalry for practical ways to lessen 'behaviour' between siblings.
I was about to post an almost identical post then saw this one.. I feel your pain 🙁
My dcs are 9 and 5, it's the youngest one that causes all the issues, I can't leave them in a room together AT ALL and it's got to the stage that if I go for a shower, then one of them comes to the bathroom with me, as I can literally count 10 seconds before one of them is in tears or I can hear them fighting.
I've had to bring them to my parents this weekend as my dad goes into hospital tomorrow and I need to look after mum. I've currently got one of them in my bedroom and the other is in the twin room - because no one would have slept as they'd be fighting if in the same room.
My youngest is going through the process of being assessed for MH issues due to her behaviour as her temper and behaviour really isn't normal and has resulted in her sister bearing the brunt of this... but it also means everyone is living in a war zone. Might be worth taking them to the doctors?
I no longer wish for good, happy family time, I wish for an hour with no issues. I'm afraid I sometimes lose my temper and say horrid things to them and shout on occasions, but the fun family time has simply vanished and everything we do is marred by fighting and squabbling.
Good luck OP and I hope the wine worked
Thanks thebluedog. Sounds like you have the same kind of family life that I do. And it's worse if you need to look after your parents as well.
I'm currently planning on cutting short a half term trip away. Kids are fighting like cats and dogs, no one is sleeping which is making it worse and tempers are very frayed. Middle child broke the pool table in the place we are staying last night by feeding a load of matchbox cars in to it 'just to see what would happen'. FFS. So now we have to pay for the repair of that and that's the days out budget gone. I give up trying to do nice stuff for my kids. It just makes things worse and makes me more angry and resentful that they can't just have a day out without fighting and wrestling and throwing stones at each other
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