Fighting Siblings -- 9 New Ways to Make Them Stop

snowball fight

Photo by 1avon-mom

I love that my kids are only 18 months apart because they enjoy the same toys, games and activities and play so well together. Their closeness in age also means they fight really well together, specifically screaming, name-calling, punching, and hitting.

I've learned from other moms in Tween Titans that often this does not stop when they are older; the yelling and hitting just escalates to the next super-frustrating level.

Help for sibling rivalry is a common question on CafeMom, as are the typical remedies: time-outs, withdrawal of privileges, etc. One mom in a recent Tween Titans post said her friend actually duct tapes her two children back-to-back and makes them do things cooperatively for a few hours.

Not sure what CPS would say about that, but some of these other creative solutions from moms in the group seem like they actually might work. Embarrassment seems to be a theme ...

  • I let my daughters, 13 and 11, go at it until it's over, and if it gets too rough, I tell them to take it outside in the backyard. But I want to add that neither of them has ever seriously hurt the other.
  • I have used written rules with set consequences (from Family Rules) for about a month and a half and it does seem to be better. They don't yell near as much, the hitting (when I am right there) is way down, and the name-calling has all but stopped.
  • My kids get work for fighting with each other. We have a job jar. I also make them do nice things for each other, and depending on the infraction, they might get to pick what the other does for them or we decide. 
  • They write apology letters to each other, or an essay about why they should be respectful or about their particular offense.
  • I make my 13 year old and 11 year old sit down and write 25 reasons why they love their sibling. It kills them to do it, but what they write is hilarious. One time my son wrote, "I love my sister because she laughs like a dude." My daughter wrote, "I love my brother because he makes me smile even when we're getting yelled at."
  • My 10 year old twin girls were always fighting in the car. I make them hold hands and kiss each other at red lights. Even the threat of this makes them stop fighting and keep their hands off each other. I pull the car over when they refuse to hold hands.
  • My husband has threatened to make our son and daughter stand by the road and hug each other LOL!

What creative punishments have you doled out to get your tweens and teens to call a truce?

Related posts:

"I Wish the Baby Were Dead"

Girl Fight: Sister Who Can't Get Along

behavior, sibling rilvary, tweens


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MomIWant MomIWant

When the tension from their fighting grew to unbearable, I would usually make them both mad at me - assigning chores that took forever (i.e. cleaning each other's rooms, raking leaves, etc.) was a favorite of mine - they always bonded over how awful I was!

carol... carolhas2kids

I make them hug each other until they can get along

baske... basketcasemom2

My 10-yr-old twin daughters fight like cats and dogs. Here's what I find interesting:  The most dreaded punishment is that they be separated for the rest of the day.  They can't stand that.  Just the threat of it inadvertently causes them to immediately make up and get along.  Soon they're laughing and playing with each other.  The pattern is repeated ad nauseum almost every day.  Wish I could get to the laughter and playfulness first, but I guess that's just a part of having a sibling so close in age.

afoxy... afoxylady

I love these ideas and I am so thankful that I have read them.  After a very rough few years and a misunderstanding with CPS my two oldest children almost 15 & 11 have been living with Dad for about a year now.... which they are now realizing the grass is NOT greener on the other side and are close to moving back home.  Anyway they come out every other weekend and this is my weekend.... I look forward to seeing them soooooo much but I just can't stand it when they fight!  There is enough fighting in the damn world!  When I'm at home I want to be away from it all!  They have all week to fight at their dads!!!

Thanks again for some creative ideas!

HotMo... HotMomma1977

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get my 9 yr old to stop fighting with my youngest who is almost 2?  And there are no kidos in between.  When my youngest was first born his older brother was wonderful.  He helped me out ALOT; but seems like here lately my oldest has become a "touch me not" when it comes to my youngest.  My oldest has become possessive with his toys that he has not played with FOR YEARS and he doesn't want his little brother touching them for the thought he might break them. I've put them in their room together and made them play together, and I've taken things away from my oldest...running out of options.  Any suggestions???

sahmo... sahmommie5

HotMomma1977- I had a similiar situation with my kids when new baby came along & what helped us ALOT was I would use the babies nap time as some 1 on 1 time with my older child...doing big kid stuff I tried to make him feel very important and loved, not that I didn't do it when the baby was awake but it was difficult being the babies demands usually came 1st (diaper change-fed etc..) and my time had to be shared between both of them .  I found this to be the answer for us and it has also turned into as the kids get older a "date-night" with our kids just one on one they usually choose what they'd like to do it has opened the door to many very interesting conversations & it makes them feel loved and important. I hope this helps.

ethan... ethans_momma06

These are great! I hope that I never have to use them lol!

sodapple sodapple

these are great, so far the baby is too small to fight with her sister but once they do i will be taking these tips into account. =-D

sherl... sherlokke

i love the duct tape.

we sometimes play with ours by putting them in a dollar innertube pool toy and letting them walk around in it. they love it and let me know when they're done if they can't get out.

MyMommy MyMommy

I have two girls that are 22 months apart and they love to pick on eachother when they are sitting in the back of the van, because they're younger brothers sit up front. I will make them hold their hands in the air till they are tired enough to not pick on eachother anymore...I think we might have to do the han holding next though =)

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