By Jill Hope
One of the questions I frequently get is “how do I get my kids to stop fighting?” I think every parent with multiple kids will from time to time feel like all your kids ever do is fight.
While siblings have the benefit of a built-in playmate, the sibling relationship comes with the issues inherent in any relationship: learning how to communicate despite differences, learning how to navigate problem-resolution and the art of compromise, and maintaining respect for others and self.
So what is a busy parent to do when your kids just won’t stop fighting?
1) See it as an opportunity to teach important relationship-building skills rather than allowing it to increase your frustration
There is a gift in every challenge, and sibling fighting is certainly a challenge, as well as a trigger for many parents. When you can take the view that there are wonderful lessons here that can serve your kids well as they grow and develop relationships outside the family, you will immediately shift your feelings and turn off the trigger.
Perspective is everything. Wayne Dyer said “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”
When you can shift your perspective to a calmer space within yourself, it can take the tension down a notch and allow the situation to be used for good. Then, you can use the opportunity teach your kids important relationship building skills and remind them of their past successes in this area.
Kids respond to our emotional state. If we allow a situation to work us up, it will in effect turn up the volume on our kids’ negative emotions. By shifting how you see the situation, you will be a conduit for peace and resolution. It is in this calmer state that new lessons which stimulate learning and growth can take place.
2) Create a visualization of your children in a state of peace and harmony
The power of the imagination to create what we wish to see has been well documented. In fact, using one’s mind to visualize the outcome they wish to see is widely and successfully accepted and used by professional athletes before stepping onto the field.
While your imagination can be used to visualize positive outcomes, it can also be used to visualize negative outcomes. When you focus on the stress of your children’s squabbles, you only increase the likelihood that they will continue.
Instead, create a story or picture in your mind of your children interacting calmly and joyfully together. Imagine that as things come up that may create discord, they instead work things out for the benefit of all.
Once you are clear on your visualization, spend a few minutes each day quietly contemplating this picture, as you relax and breathe deeply. Before long, you will begin to notice the frequency and intensity of the squabbles decreasing as more peace descends upon your home.
To increase the power of this visualization, you can even comment to your spouse or partner within hearing distance of your kids about how well they played together, how respectful they were, etc. Even if it isn’t true yet, your kids will eventually live up to what they hear.
3) Place positive words and affirmations of peace and harmony around your home
Words hold a great deal of power, whether they are spoken verbally, read, or thought about. In fact, in this universe where everything at its base level is energy, there is a powerful resonance to words.
Dr. Masaru Emoto observed this in experiments he did on impact of words on water crystal formation. In his experiments, he taped onto the sides of glass jars containing water positive words such as “thank you” and “love and appreciation”, while he also taped negative words such as “you make me sick, I will kill you” onto other jars. The water jars were left overnight and then frozen, and photos were taken of the crystals in each jar.
What he found was that the crystals in the jars that had positive words taped on them were beautiful, with a harmonious, geometric symmetry to them. The crystals in the jars that had negative words on them were similar to water crystals found in polluted, toxic waters of the Fujiwara Dam in Japan, with no symmetry or beauty to them.
When you consider that the human body is largely made up of water, it makes you wonder about the power both positive and negative words have on our bodies.
So, how can you use this idea to increase the resonance of harmony in your home? Whether your kids can read or not, write positive, loving words or affirmations on cards or sheets of paper and place them around your home in the areas your kids spend the most time. Then watch how the positive vibrations impact the level of peace in your home.
Next time you find yourself stressed and frustrated over sibling squabbles in your home, try these three simple ideas and see how things improve.