Reduce sibling fighting
by using a reward chart...

Sibling fighting is normal to some degree. However, if one of my kids is being hurtful, that's a problem for everyone.

Much of sibling fighting can be traced to a feeling (real or perceived) of an imbalance in parental attention or sibling privileges. Reward charts provide a set time and place for daily discussion of any sibling transgression and an opportunity for both sides be heard. Since this happens well after the problem, emotions are usually much lower, and so communication can calmly take place.

The additional benefit is that the sibling has some input into the reward chart, being able to grade the sibling in whatever areas you have put on the reward chart.

For example, the dynamic between my little guy and my middle guy is the most likely to lead to shouting (“Stop! No! Mommmm!”). I put an item on each kid's chart. It could be general (I treated my brother kindly today) or specific (I didn't scream at my brother today). I've tried both and either works well. And guess who gets to decide whether a star has been earned? That's right, the brother!

I don't know about your family, but my youngest tends to act out when he feels powerless. Giving him the power to give/not give a star to his older brothers levels the sibling hierarchy a little, and I notice better behavior because of it.

Reward charts provide a level playing field. Sometimes heavy discussions take place between the brothers about what behavior warranted what on the chart.

I do insist on a specific incident to justify anything other than a star. For example, a “frowny face” must be tied to a specific transgression, not just a desire to be punitive (that's called being a dictator!). By the same token, giving “double stars” also must be justified, or you may have your kids working together to inflate the behavior chart with extra stars so they reach their goal sooner—I have seen this happen! Reward charts have many benefits to a smooth running family.

Reducing sibling fighting is a goal for most families, and having a reward chart is a great foundation.

Go to Chore Charts from Sibling Fighting

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