Stop and notice how often they raise their voices so that they can pull you in and be saved from sorting out their own squabbles. Stop and consider the value of conflict resolution and how useful it might be for your child to be able to manage disagreements. Stop and develop a little trust that, with time support and opportunity, your child can work out how to discuss their way through difficult situations instead of resorting to drama.
Some things to try instead….
Could you each move back towards a wall and, keeping one foot at the wall, continue to argue from a distance?
I’ll give you a ball – each person says something and throws the ball to the other, who can then talk, and we’ll continue this until you get tired of this argument or you figure your way through it
Can you stand back to back and shout your complaints about the other person and see who can be loudest?
Move closer and tell them… I’m just going pull up a chair and watch the fight to see who gets hurt, who wins, who gives in, etc.
I set you the challenge to whispher your way through this issue and then we’ll all have a snack
I would like to give you each a change to say your problem and then I’d like you to split up, go off alone, and figure out what you could do to help yourself with this rather than have the other person change
I’ll give you ten minutes to verbally fight, but for each minute that remains once you stop, you will receive a 10 minute voucher for one on one time with me
Can you take a break from the ‘whose fault’ and figure out what the other person is thinking and what they want and whether you could give that to them
Ok – you may continue your arguing as long as you use the voices of cartoon characters, without that I’m afraid this fight is done
Could you have a glaring contest instead of this noise?
Please sit back to back and push – using the force you would like to put into this argument instead of these noisy words