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My Daughters Do Not Stop Fighting!

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Sep 10, 2017

Question

As-salam alaikum, my two daughters fight often and while they play together, they usually just end up yelling at each other or physically hitting one another. Me and their father give them lots of attention. I also provide them with many types of learning toys, video games, and overall toys just for enjoyment. I take them to the park to play with other kids as well. Sometimes, we do yell at the girls if they get out of hand. I wonder why the girls get hyper or are fighting! Is it because they feel too boxed in having too much time at home or have we as parents taught them this behavior? Is that possible? I wonder what will be they like when they are teenagers if they continue with the same type of behavior. Any advice? Thanks for your help and service.

Counselor

Answer


fighting

In this counseling answer:

“For instance, instead of lashing out by yelling or hitting, teach them to restrain themselves by giving them an alternative expression of anger such as counting, walking away, taking a time out, or redirecting the anger into another activity such as exercise, writing, or talking with you when they feel anger bubbling up. All of this is of course age dependent and the skills you teach should be age appropriate. It will take time and energy on your part, but they will soon insha’Allah learn better behaviors.”


As-salamu alaykum,

Thank you for writing in with your most important issue. While you did not state how old the children are, fighting amongst siblings is a common complaint of many parents. Sister, you sound like wonderful parents, with normal children! I would kindly suggest separating them when they do fight (especially if it gets physical) and take away a privilege such as not playing a video game for a period of time.

I would also talk to them both about the importance of getting along and the negative effects of fighting, and make them apologize to the one they offended/hurt. Keeping them accountable for their negative behaviors by having them take responsibility for their actions, having a negative consequence and apologizing should be done on a consistent basis. Also, teach your children coping skills for when they feel angry.

For instance, instead of lashing out by yelling or hitting, teach them to restrain themselves by giving them an alternative expression of anger such as counting, walking away, taking a time out, or redirecting the anger into another activity such as exercise, writing, or talking with you when they feel anger bubbling up. All of this is of course age dependent and the skills you teach should be age appropriate. It will take time and energy on your part, but they will soon insha’Allah learn better behaviors.

Read to them examples of unsavory behaviors between siblings and family and the results. I would suggest readingsfe-sfp-parenthood-kids-fight them the story of Yusuf. It is a powerful reminder. Give them examples of how our beloved Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) treated his family members and how Allah SWT orders us to be kind to one another and to especially cherish family.

While it may take some time for these behaviors to cease, insha’Allah they will. It is kind of like living through the “terrible two’s” when children are seeking to excertkind of like living through the “terrible two’s” when children are seeking to excert their independence through opposition to authority.

You will get through this and insha’Allah your children will be fine! Keep in prayer, make duaa to Allah that He grant ease for you and your family. We wish you the best sister, you are in our prayers.


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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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