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Develop a family hands-off policy

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Children’s disputes can be noisy, loud and physical, particularly when boys are involved. Sibling conflict is the bane of family life as it can disturb family harmony and make life awful for parents.

Noisy, physical fights don’t seem to worry kids as much as it does parents.

It’s worth noting that left to their own devices kids generally work out their own solutions to relationship problems but the verbal barbs can fly and some physicality can be involved.

If you have boys your long-term aim as a parent is to get them to talk through their issues, practise give and take and look for solutions that suit both rather than each standing their ground.

This takes a great deal of patience and modelling by adults of healthy conflict resolution.

It also helps to have a Hands-off policy at home. That is, kids resist hitting or hurting each other when there is a problem to be sorted. Talking through problems, giving way and compromising are the ways to go.

Just because you have a hands-off policy doesn’t mean that kids will stick to it all the time. But it makes it very clear for boys, in particular, that hitting and hurting are not the ways to solve their relationships problems.

“Jeremy, we have a hands-off policy in our family. You overstepped the mark when you whacked your brother. We cool down and talk things through here. How will you fix this situation?

A Hands-off policy gives you something concrete to refer to as a parent when kids overstep the mark they use physicality to resolve issues with their siblings.

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