When my kids fight...thoughts?

Our daughters get along
swimmingly.  Miriam and Junia are so sweet on each other it sometimes melts me. Their enjoyment of one another is something that people often comment on. Except that our daughters don't ALWAYs get along.  It seems like sometimes they must be trying to drown each other.  They get alone best when we are NOT at home.

But here in the thick of things they scream and yell and pull and tug and sometimes hit and push. . . which is often followed by lies, "I didn't...okay I did but..."  Though usually I write about things on my blog that I feel very comfortable in and things that I have strong opinions about I do not have an operational theory behind managing when our kids get mad at each other.

Sometimes I stay totally out of it. I let them scream and escalate and manage on their own.

Sometimes I offer advice from the other side of the room, "offer her something else," "make something else look fun and then she will want it."

Sometimes, I get in their business and help them navigate.

Sometimes I try one of those options and I get all escalated and then switch to another one.  Sometimes I just hand out time-outs like I'm on a float  tossing out candy.  The reality is that I don't think that right now- with Miriam being VERY opinionated but not very rational- that they can manage very well on their own.  But,  3 years from now I want them to figure out how to manage conflict almost exclusively one their own...

On the flip side of emotions but on a similar vein of negotiating they are figuring out how to ask for care from one another. Sometimes when I am tense or their is a lot of sadness they will seek each other out for hugs or snuggles.  Sometimes they will choose to cuddle with one another. These things require negotiation as well.  The difference is that the emotion is usually less charged when that happens...

So what advice do you have parents? How do you negotiate the screaming, the fighting, and the sometimes pushing and yelling?


  1. I wish I knew you 22 years ago! I always learn so much from you, but some lessons are learned too late. You are doing such a marvelous job with those girls. I can't offer any advice, because you are doing way better than I did.


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