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When is the right time to intervene in fighting?

By October 8, 2008 - 2:55pm
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I have a habit of letting my children sort out their differences as much as possible but there are times I have to break up fights over toys or games. I dont like to do it much as I feel like my children might think I'm taking sides or interfering, when they are capable of working it out themselves.

When do you intervene? How hands off do we have to be in case we're considered 'helicopter parents' - lord knows, those are dirty words in parenting anymore!!

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LOL on helicopter parenting -- heaven knows we wouldn't want to be accused of hovering!

One parenting columnist points out that siblings learn a lot of things from working things out: They learn to share, how to get along, how to negotiate, and the right ways (please, thank you) and wrong ways (hitting, biting) to get things done.

Unless you feel like someone's going to get hurt, you're doing well to let them try to work things out with one another. But realize this: Without your modeling, they don't have anyone to learn from!

Here's one thing the columnist suggests:

"Parents can teach negotiation skills later during a calm period. Teach your child to say "I'll give you these blocks for those." This will help them learn win-win skills that will be there when they are needed now and useful in the future.

"Another thing parents can do is show confidence that their children will work things out. "I see two children and one doll, and I know you two can work things out together so both of you are happy." Believe it and walk out of the room. You'll be surprised."

Here's a link to her column:

And here are some suggestions on sibling rivalry from the National Network for Child Care:


Good luck! You're fighting the good fight!

October 9, 2008 - 8:32am
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