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Dealing with siblings hitting each other

(8 Posts)
musicposy Mon 27-Dec-10 23:04:00

OK, I know it's been Christmas, and everyone has been very much too cooped up together for a few days - with no relief in sight, may I add, as we have relatives tomorrow and Weds.

My normally fairly amiable to each other girls have descended into hitting each other the last few days and I feel it's getting out of control. They are often mildly verbal to each other (fairly harmless "you stink", "well you stink more" kind of comments) but that always seems more like play fighting than anything else and neither seem bothered by it. But the last few days they have both made each other cry fairly regularly by slapping, punching etc. It doesn't seem from what I can see to be one bullying the other - they are 14 and 11 and the 11 year old seems to be as implicated in starting it as the 14 year old. Both of them always admit to having done it.

I've become increasingly cross as the days have worn on. I've told them it absolutely is not acceptable to hit each other and it is to stop. It hasn't. This morning after DD1 whacked DD2 on the head pretty hard with a book (for calling her ugly) I told them if it continued they would be losing privileges big time, and so far there's been no further occurances.

So, what sanctions would you use? My mum suggests fining them a set amount of their allowance and I'm thinking this is the way I will go. But wondering if any of you other mumsnetters have coped with this, and how.

SuzieHomemaker Mon 27-Dec-10 23:17:36

My DDs are 15 & 10. I would be jumping on the insults as these are obviously escalating. Each and every one has to be apologised for.

Do they have their own rooms? If so then I would suggest separating them as much as possible as well. As soon as the insults start then apologise then off to a separate room.

musicposy Mon 27-Dec-10 23:35:05

That's interesting - I've always ignored the insults feeling that it's only words, and said I don't care much what they say (within reason!), as long as they don't hurt each other. But I guess it's the words that are leading to the physical stuff so maybe I should look again at that.

Yes, they have their own rooms. DD2 is very resistant to being sent there and I get a lot of "why? It wasn't my fault? That's so not fair!" etc, but maybe I'll have to firm up on that, and ride the storm.

It's a difficult balancing act with DD2. She's generally the more challenging of the duo so I try to keep control with her without crossing swords unnecessarily (hence ignoring the small stuff). I don't want to completely lose any good relationship with her as I think she's going to be harder to keep on the straight and narrow through the teen years than her elder sister has been.

However, I do need to nip this in the bud, and they both need to know I mean business.

maryz Tue 28-Dec-10 00:00:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

musicposy Tue 28-Dec-10 11:09:26

"Anyone who argues gets an extra half an hour before they get out."

I like this!

SuzieHomemaker Tue 28-Dec-10 17:53:28

Another thing is to be modelling the behaviour you want. We do say please and thank you to the children and make sure that the children say it to each other. I have three children DDs (15 & 10) plus DS (12). This makes a lot of people so good manners do go a long way to keeping harmony.

We stamp on the bickering because we know that DD2 can wind up the other two and then looks sweet and innocent when the other two respond.

Tortington Tue 28-Dec-10 18:01:32

i find a good strategy is to be so over the top that you become their common enemy.

can i suggest that ever time they do something awful they get to do a chore

like cleaning the toilet, or hoovering the stairs.

something not easy - and not pleasant but that can be completed in 20 mins.

this way you get your housework done on the back of their awful behaviour - win win.

so yes - i think the mum = bad bastard appraoch is a good one.

musicposy Thu 30-Dec-10 09:34:36

This is why I love mumsnet!

Prepares to have housework done by fighting teens grin

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