Many children do not know how to negotiate and set an agreement, therefore, when they feel frustration or anger, they may resort to disagreement and quarrelling. Quarrelling may be verbal and may extend to fighting with the hands, but in all circumstances there are causes for these fights. Children may fight for a toy, personal stuff, or for a place at the table ...etc.
Fights are from the natural daily practices of the family because there are no wonderful and quiet children all the time: sometimes brothers compete and fight and other times they act like friends and love one another.
Causes of quarrelling between brethren:
Experts and educators see that the most important reasons for quarrelling between brethren are: Jealousy, feeling of inferiority, feeling of persecution from the elder, and the occupancy of the parents from their children; moreover some male children try to control their female sisters. As for the positive side in the children's competition is: It gives them the chance to learn how to give and take, how to share things, and how to defend their rights. Through these fights, they know their capabilities, the points of weakness and power they have, and they try the ecstasy of thrilling and victory.
However, no matter what is said about these fights, they irritate the nerves of the parents, who feel incapable of stopping them; this may lead to doubt their ability to rear their children.
How do you act?
In the beginning, you have to study the health conditions of the child because in rare cases fights of children and their abundant conflicts trace back to organic or psychological disease and in this case you have to see a doctor because irritability or fight may be imbalance in the thyroid gland secretions or malnutrition, or other causes.
If you are sure that your children do not suffer any organic disease, think about how to solve their daily disputes in a practical and effective way. Some fights need immediate interference and may require lack of interest as if nothing has happened, there are some general treatments that fit any conflict and there are special treatments for each situation.
Education experts and psychologists advise you of the following:
• If disputes are verbal, you have to keep away as much as possible because a child needs to learn how to discuss with others until it reaches a common solution. This experience comes through conflict between brethren and mates excluding those whose ages are between two and three years old because children in that age do not realize the hidden danger of fighting, therefore we should monitor them closely.
• Try to prevent your children from seeking your help in settling their disputes and when you do that, be neutral. Try not to determine who is to be blamed and who is correct, do not impose a certain solution on them, and let them find the solution themselves as possible.
• Follow the guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in dealing with the anger of your children by changing the position from standing to sitting and from sitting to lying down.
• Put yourself in the place of your child and remember how you acted in similar situations when you were young so as to understand the psychology of your children.
• Before you reckon your children for any mistake, you have to ask yourself first: Have you laid down limits for quarrelling between them? Have you laid down certain rules for behavior for them to abide by? Have you taught your son how to respect elderly people? Have you taught him to leave the room when his sister changes her clothes?
• Teach your children the way of handling any subject or dispute by rearing them for the respect of others even if we disagree with their views; the view of my brother or friend is correct that may be wrong and my opinion is wrong but may be correct.
• If quarrelling between the children reached the limit of disturbance, interfere and try to calm the situation down, but if you do not find any response, know the reason of the quarrel. If their dispute was for something in particular, keep it away; for example, if they fight for sitting in the front seat, put them in the back seat, and if the quarrel was for going to a certain place, deprive them from going there.
• If the fight reached fighting with the hands or one of them harmed others, you have to lock them separately for a certain period no matter who started the fight because he may do that as a result of provocation from the other. Therefore, the perfect solution is to separate them in a single room without watching TV or playing with the computer.
• The punishment of the aggressor may be by the arrangement of the other's stuff such as tidy his bed, desk, clothes...etc.
• It is possible to tell them to sit on separate seats and command them not to stand up but after reconciliation and they should learn how to start a dialog.
• If the children fight for the toys which belong to one of them, render them back to whom they belong where the things of each child should be carefully maintained and they should respect the privacy of one another. As for the games which belong to the entire family such as video games or computer, children have to learn how to share them alternately and play with their friends. A child needs to learn how to share things to acquire friends and coexist with others.
• If you were in the market, restaurant, or other public places and your children start fight, you have to stop them right away so as not to disturb others, however if the fight continued, get them out of the place for two or three minutes, but if they do not stop, you have to leave right away and return home as a punishment.
• In case they are comfortable with one another, reinforce this behavior and praise it until the links of love and brotherhood is strengthened.
• Justice does not mean equality in everything, but by fulfilling the needs of each one of them without connecting it with the needs of his brother or sister. For example, when one of them needs shoes, equality does not require buying shoes for the other. If one of them is hungry, it does not mean to give his brother or sister the same amount but ask him or her about his or her needs: Are you hungry? Do you need more? So as not to get used to look at the things which are in the hands of others.
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