Fighting with siblings is a normal part of growing up. Many kids go rounds with brothers or sisters, sometimes on a daily basis. But just because it's normal doesn't mean it's easy to listen to. If you have teen boys who fight constantly, helping them work things out and quit arguing will bring peace to your home and give your boys the chance to spend time together in a friendly and enjoyable way. You probably won't see results overnight, but coming up with a plan and helping your teens learn to get along will make everyone happier in the long run.
Coach your teens through the fight. Many teens haven't yet mastered effective conflict resolution skills, so a push in the right direction can help. Ask what each of your sons wants and why they're arguing. Help them come up with a solution they're both happy with.
Separate the brothers. Sometimes teens need a chance to cool down and collect their thoughts. Send each son to a separate room in the house. This is particularly effective if your teens are close to a physical fight or they can't come to a resolution.
Enforce consequences. Clear and consistent guidelines regarding arguing can help your teens solve their issues without a fight. Remove the item your kids are fighting over until they resolve their argument. For example, take away movie or video game privileges if they're arguing about which one to watch or play. Return the privilege once they come to a peaceful agreement.
Avoid taking sides. Even if you agree with one son, don't side with one and not the other. This can make one teen hurt, confused and defensive, making it difficult to solve whatever issue is causing the argument. Keep your feelings to yourself, but offer suggestions and ideas about finding a common resolution to the fight.
Talk to a professional. In some cases, your teen boys might not be able to solve their problems and quit arguing. A neutral observer may be able to get them talking and show each son the other's perspective so they can improve their problem-solving skills together.
- Although it's normal for many boys to settle their arguments with a physical fight, it's important to help your sons learn non-violent ways to argue with their brother. Physical violence can get in the way of solving the argument and can make each boy angrier, which can cycle into more hitting, punching, kicking and slapping.
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