Playing referee? How to stop the kids fighting during lockdown

Not all families are experiencing ‘a great time for family bonding’ during lockdown.

In fact, it seems many are noticing that tensions are rising at home, especially among siblings!

So how to do you stop your kids from being at each other’s throats for what may well be months of coronavirus-induced isolation?

Playing referee? How to stop the kids fighting during lockdown

How to stop siblings arguing during lockdown

Parents should not be alarmed if they find lockdown is causing their kids to fuss or fight with each other.

It’s an unprecedented time and young brains can’t always fully comprehend the reasons behind why they are being kept indoors and away from their friends.

Playing referee? How to stop the kids fighting during lockdown

Being under the roof for 24/7 is bound to spark fights among family members and siblings might end up fighting more than ever before.

Here’s how to deal with it…

1. Keep your cool

Playing referee? How to stop the kids fighting during lockdown

As easy as it may be to lose your temper with argumentative children, it’s best to keep level headed. Be calm, patient and consistent with your kids.

Children learn behaviour from their parents, so make sure you don’t get drawn into any arguments yourself.

2. Check your kids are okay

Playing referee? How to stop the kids fighting during lockdown

If a child lashes out or is irritated and angry, it may be a sign that they are distressed. Kids don’t handle stressful situations the same way that adults do.

It may help if you speak to your children individually and make sure they are okay and reassure them that everything will be okay and this will pass.

3. Give your kids space

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Older kids may not appreciate it being called ‘time out’ but that’s what it is and everyone needs it.

If tensions rise, it may be time for you to step in and ask your children to take a breather from each other. You could try sitting them in different rooms or asking for one to go for a walk with you while the other stays with dad.

It’s important your little ones have space even while they are feeling housebound.

4. Ask your children to apologise

It’s important for your kids to defuse the situation as soon as possible so there are no lingering tensions. You don’t want your children to bring up things that happened a few days ago, so make sure you stay focused on the now.

5. Shut down any name calling

Don’t allow your children to disrespect each other or call each other names. You should lead by this example and teach them how to be respectful to one another even while they are arguing.

6. Teach empathy

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It’s important for your children to understand where each other are coming from. Sometimes they may need things broken down for them to help them understand another person’s point of view.

7. Encourage good behaviour

When your children are nice to each other reinforce that behaviour with lots of praise. They will soon learn it’s nicer to be nice to each other!

8. Be the voice of reason

Younger children sometimes need their parents to mediate for them, as they don’t have the tools to express how they are feeling. You can decide if someone has a toy (or control of the remote!) to make sure they are playing fair.

9. Keep to a routine

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Kids sometimes act up if they are lethargic, bored or feeling restless. So try sticking to a routine to keep them busy or even take them for a run around the park to help burn up any energy or frustrations they may have.

10. Don’t be too hard on yourself

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Sibling argue – even if they are normally the best of friends!

If the fighting is getting to you, there’s no harm in giving yourself a five minute time out away from the chaos!

That time away may help you collect your thoughts before you go in to deal with the argument. We’re living in unprecedented times right now and it’s not easy for any of us.

Just do the best you can, mamma! And hopefully everything will be back to normal soon.

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