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Kids arguing constantly - help with strategies please!

(9 Posts)
CocktailQueen Tue 30-Jun-15 07:49:48

Dd 11, DS 8. They are set each other's throats all the time, arguing, niggling, criticising, hitting. I hate it. The atmosphere at home is horrible. No matter what sanctions I do - no tv, no iPad - it doesn't deter them.

Help, please.

lexyloub Tue 30-Jun-15 08:24:05

My 2 ds are exactly the same the only thing that helps me is a big glass of wine when they've gone to bedhmm

PurpleHairAndPearls Tue 30-Jun-15 08:44:31

I feel yoour pain! Do you have any more DCs, or just the two of them?

Two of my DCs argue a lot. They literally cannot be in the same room as each other sometimes. They are very similar in personality, I don't know if this is actually why they fight.

I hope someone will be along with some good advice, as I don't have much I'm afraid! The only things that I can think of, is the MN recommended "bored policeman" approach. I try very hard not to get involved unless there is blood or screaming (joking but not that much!) and just keep telling them they are old enough to sort stuff out between them - they are a bit older than yours though.

The only other thing that works, funnily enough, is having just the two of them in the house as they do seem to get on better when they have to. I have more than two though so if you just have the two, it's probably a different dynamic in your house. I also ask the older one to help the younger with homework occasionally, if they are both calm and in a good mood, in an attempt to foster positive interactions between them, as well as arguing!

I keep hoping they will grow out of it <sigh> it's tiring isn't it.

thanksamillion Tue 30-Jun-15 08:55:03

<joins thread waiting for someone with a magic solution>

I've got 3 who are 5, 8 and 10 and yes, they bicker and argue constantly. The only time they are united is when I've asked to do something that none of them want to do!

lexyloub Tue 30-Jun-15 08:59:01

I have a younger ds aswell (4mth) so he's not in the mix (yet). The only time my older 2 (8&6) are United is when they're both going against me doing something they've been told not or not doing something they've been asked to do

MumOfTheMoment Tue 30-Jun-15 09:08:56

The only time they are united is when I've asked to do something that none of them want to do!

This is so very true and it hadn't even occured to me.

Tinfoiled Tue 30-Jun-15 09:13:41

Joining the gang. Dd 10 and ds 7 constant arguing. They are very different in what they like to do as well so I think there's a lot of jealousy when one gets praise/attention for something that the other thinks they're not as good at. Can't win! I hope that they aren't like this as adults as it would upset me to think they wouldn't get on. I don't have a particular strategy except for them to spend time apart.

Heartofgold25 Tue 30-Jun-15 21:03:11

I really don't have the answers BUT some things have worked for me, because I can NOT bear arguing and the bickering. It drives me to distraction. I think it is a habit like any other, and hopefully (she says!) can be broken. I have tried the following with mixed results they might work for you:

1) A whistle that I blow loudly very close to them for time out and to stop. They both hate it and it mostly works.
2) I refuse to serve dinner or any meal unless the atmosphere is peaceful. One squabble and the dinner is off the table in a flash, and effectively in time out until they can sit nicely and bloody eat it without bickering.
3) The prodding for a reaction has zero tolerance ~ they go straight to their room
4) I can sometimes guess where the flash points of the week are going to be, many have a pattern and so I keep them apart. One has a shower, the other does homework and then we switch over. It is not ideal but it does work
5) I tell myself it is normal and natural and let the low level stuff go, I go to another room and leave them to it.
6) We have traffic light system, green is happy home that all want and enjoy, amber is taking us into dangerous fighting family zone, and red is hell freezing over. I tell them when they are moving to amber and then to red, that means bedroom until they are back in the green zone. This worked really well for AGES until they stop giving a s* about traffic lights, but it worked BRILLIANTLY so give it a go. I thought I might reuse this invention now, as sometimes you need to 'rest' your tactics otherwise they wear thin (much like my patience!)

I have to say my dd do get on most of the time, they can be great together, but when they are tired and cranky all hell can break lose! And regularly does, I am sure it is karma for spending my entire childhood fighting with my brother!!! smile And we are still alive to tell the tale!

CocktailQueen Fri 03-Jul-15 00:46:51

Thanks all! I like the traffic light idea so will give that a go. Oddly, they get on gret when we're away on holiday and play really well together, but we can't be away all the time!!

They are not and tired and grumpy now which is not helping. I do try to avoid flash points too ie hunger and thirst and try to preempt those. Lots of talk about there being four of us in the apfamily, not just them, and if you can't say anything nice then don't say anything at ll. gah.

I'd love them to get on well when they're adults - would be really sad if they hated each other.

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