I’m the mother of two daughters, ages seven and eight and a half, who fight constantly. My husband and I differ about how to find out who is wrong and who should be punished. Help!
One of the most frustrating and least useful things to do when children are fighting is to attempt to dispense justice. Typically, older children hit harder and younger children scream louder. Older ones are more clever and devious; young ones cry foul sooner than is necessary. Boys threaten, while girls provoke more often. Trying to decide who is wrong when you weren’t there tempts children to distort the evidence. So try to catch your children being good and make a big deal out of it. Real physical or emotional abuse is pretty rare in well-functioning families but needs to be dealt with by giving children a cooling-off period – then reviewing the family rules.