Fighting Toddlers: How to Spread the Love

Cynthia Dermody
Toddlers & Preschoolers
2


sibling rivalry and fighting

Photo by tribalinklady

Not to take away from all the hugs and kisses that are going around as we ramp up for V Day, but this is Toddler Buzz. If you have two toddlers, they may trade more harsh words and punches than affection at times. I hold up my own son and daughter as Exhibit A.

How do you keep the peace, Momma? Are you a UN negotiator, hovering and directing your children away from the hostilities? Or, do you sit back and let them battle it out?

I have a friend who, as long as her two kids were not literally "killing" one another, would turn away and let her young toddlers figure out who should get that toy or offer up the apology. It wasn't pretty, but she swears it worked. She claims her kiddos are like diplomats now.

I try to be this way, but it's hard. My son is older and stronger, but my daughter has recently discovered a new use for her fingernails. What's your mediator style? Take the poll below ...


Poll

I will intervene in a fight between my two toddlers only when ...

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Total Votes: 22

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When I asked other moms in Answers and in some of my groups how big a mediator role mom should play in toddler sibling fights, I found most prefer minimal involvement:

"I mostly try to let my 2 year old and 4 year old figure it out and instill the sharing concept. At the end of the day, they are cuddling up and watching a movie before bed. I think as long as they are in a loving environment and they see their mommy and daddy loving and getting along, they pick up the message." -- JamiMarie2

"They work out their quarrels on their own, except when they are hurting each other. I will also intervene when one comes to tell on the other. I help them love each other by having them apologize and hug each other when I do get involved in their fights.

I'm also trying to teach them to cooperate with one another. Just today my son woke up feeling sour, and when my daughter tried to engage him in conversation about what was on TV, he said, "No, I don't like Valerie." I told him that she had been waiting for him to wake up and she loves him and wants to talk to him. Then I told him if he couldn't be nice to turn around and go back to bed, LOL! Sometimes I just have to tell them how to think." -- sothankful

"I have 5 year old and a 3 year old and they argue all the time. When I get tired of hearing it, I tell them to go in their separate rooms for a while. After about 5 minutes, I hear them trying to sneak in each others' rooms to play -- then they are good for quite awhile." --Armywife80

"I sit my kids down and ask them how they think we should solve this problem without getting physical. Most of the time they end up laughing from their ideas."  --yakisoba

++Should toddlers be left all by their lonesome in the conflict resolution department? Should mom have any role at all here?


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