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Why siblings fight

Disagreements are a fact of life when kids get together, and fights can start if they aren’t sorted out. Many factors affect kids fighting – temperament, environment, age and social skills. You can work with these factors to reduce fighting in your family.

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Kids fighting: the basics

Disagreements between brothers and sisters are very common. They often start when children see a situation as unfair, or when children are trying to assert what they think are their rights.

Sometimes you see kids fighting because children view the same situation in different ways. For example, an older child might be teasing a younger sibling in what he thinks is a funny way, but the younger child might not like it.

And sometimes siblings get into conflict as they compete with each other for parental attention or approval.

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The good news
These kinds of disagreement are part of growing up in a family. In fact, they can be a great chance for your children to practise the social skills they’ll need as adults. Fighting will decrease as your children grow and develop better social skills.

When disagreements between brothers and sisters get worked out fairly and without anyone getting hurt, children start to build problem-solving skills such as negotiating. They also learn the importance of seeing another person’s point of view and respecting other people’s rights, feelings and belongings.

One of the keys to fewer fights is what you do when kids aren’t fighting. This includes showing them how to use good social and emotional skills such as managing angry feelings, reminding them about the importance of negotiating and helping them learn to play fair.

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