Is what I found myself saying to my daughters while on a recent vacation. We were in close quarters and they were regularly going at it.
I was really starting to get frustrated because they would stop for while and then start right back up again. I was also NOT liking myself because I was sounding like such a nag.
After many days of this I was reminded of a great positive discipline technique I could use. There is no official name for it, but basically it is called, “Stay Out of Their Fights”.
My husband was a little reticent about the idea of completely staying out of their arguments, and said things like, “I WILL intervene if necessary” (he used his deepest voice when he said it too- you get the idea. 😉 ) I told him that of course we would intervene if it was a safety issue (fortunately my girls are not into knock down drag out fights, so I didn’t think this would be an issue), but other than that, these were THEIR fights not ours and I was confident that they could handle it.
So he and I agreed to do three things:
1. Ignore their fights, pleas and whining, with the phrase, “I am confident you both can figure out a solution”.
2. Agree to assist if they REALLY couldn’t figure it out on their own (as parents we know when they really need help and when they don’t, right?) 3. Ask them to go fight elsewhere if they were in a space where it wasn’t appropriate.
We told the girls our plan that day.
The next time they fought instead of jumping in we used our plan. While the girls were a little shocked the first time, their third fight was already shorter, plus, I noticed they were learning some great problem solving skills together and, as an added bonus, our time with them was much more enjoyable! 🙂
Ah a learning experience even while on vacation. I hope this helps!