Help your children live together so you can live too with these simple strategies to handling sibling fighting by Faber and Mazlish's book SIblings Without Rivalry.
Level One: Normal Bickering
1. Ignore it.
2. Tell yourself the children are having an important experience in conflict resolution.
Level II: Situation Heating Up. Adult Intervention Might Be Helpful.
1. Acknowledge their anger. "You two are really mad at each other!"
2. Reflect each child's point of view.
3. Describe the problem with respect.
4. Express confidence in the children's ability to find their own solution.
5. Leave the room.
Level III: Situation Possibly Dangerous
1. Inquire "Is this a play fight or a real fight?"
2. Let the children know "Play fighting by mutual consent only."
3. Respect your feelings. "You may be play fighting but it's too rough for me. Find another activity."
Level IV: Situation Definitely Dangerous. Adult Intervention Necessary
1. Describe what you see. "I see two very angry children who are about to hurt each other."
2. Separate the children.