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How to Prevent My Kids’ Fights?

25 November, 2021
Q I have three daughters and one son. They start fighting for little things, and I get so angry that sometimes I beat them badly.

After that, I feel so bad. I need help to improve my behavior as well as theirs. Please, help me.

Answer

In this counseling answer:

Realize that your behavior is not OK.

Difficulties in raising children and managing feuds between siblings are something all parents face to some extent or another. You are not alone.

Parenting is a learning curve from day 1.

Have no shame in apologizing for your behavior when you have such outbursts.

If you don’t apologize and tell them that your own behavior is not acceptable, then they may grow up believing that it is fine to beat people because you as their mother, their role model, does it.

Encourage tasks that require them all to work together on a single task.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

This kind of behavior towards your children is not OK, but it is clear that you realize that. Alhamdulillah, this is the first step in making improvements moving forward. The next step is to reach out for help with your behavior and again, you are doing the right thing in reaching out for assistance.

Of course, this doesn’t excuse the behavior, but it means you are ready and willing to make all the changes you can to improve your behavior. Once this is fixed, then, in sha Allah, the relationship with your children will also improve, and you will be able to spend happy time together as you want. This will also make for healthier children psychologically too.

No parent is perfect. It is a learning curve from day 1.

We face new challenges every day. As they grow older, the challenges change and we have to change our parenting style to match their ever-changing needs also.

Additional challenges arise when you add in additional children from other age groups too and have to now manage multiple tasks, abilities and needs all at once. This can be incredibly overwhelming, even for the most patient of parents.

Sister, you are not alone.

Difficulties in raising children and managing feuds between siblings is something all parents face to some extent or another.

No one comes equipped with the skills to manage this without practice first as we get used to what works with each child and not. Of course, the best of guidance comes from following the example of our Prophet (SAW) alongside any legislation laid out by Allah.

This sets the best guidelines, to begin with, and sets the boundaries for good parenting. There are many things that we can take from this, and I will outline some things here that are particularly relevant to your own scenario.

Firstly, have no shame in apologizing for your behavior when you have such outbursts. This lets them learn about the art of apologizing and makes it something that will be more normal and comfortable for them to do too.

This will help them to do the same when they upset their siblings and will make it easier for you to encourage them to do the same because you are leading by a good example. It also tells them outright that the angry outbursts that you have are not OK.

If you don’t apologize and tell them that your own behavior is not acceptable, then they may grow up believing that it is fine to beat people because you as their mother, their role model, does it.

The next thing is probably quite obvious, but yet is a big challenge, probably one of the biggest when it comes to parenting. Be patient!

You have said that they are fighting over small things. So, most likely, your angry response is the thing that could be escalating things further.

I suggest that when you see an argument, you might leave the room and take a breather before you respond irrationally.

If you feel things are escalating to something more serious, then step in before it does. Remove one or two siblings from the scenario peacefully without directly mentioning their argument. Call them to help out with something more positive. This will help defuse the situation from escalating.

If this is not an option, you could call them all to just pause. Ask them each to give their own thoughts out loud to you and each other without anyone’s interruption.

Allow everyone to have their say and feel heard.

This way, they get the chance to have their feelings and view heard and you can hear everyone’s perspective too.

You might ask them all to offer their own perspective on what should be done and the consequences that should be given. This again will help them to all feel respected. This alone may solve the issue as they realize that it wasn’t a big deal after all, or otherwise, at least let them know that they have been heard.

In the same sort of format, you might all get together outside of an argument and decide on consequences for poor behavior between yourselves. Having them involved in such decisions will make them more likely to adhere to the rules because they were part of deciding the rules. This way, they cannot say any consequences are unfair.

Additionally, make sure that at some point during the week you give them all a bit of one-to-one time with you. Sometimes little disputes between siblings can be a result of sibling rivalry all calling for parental attention.

If you are the one to voluntarily give them their own special bit of time with you then there will be less need to compete with siblings and cause problems. This may not be the reason why they are fighting, but it is a healthy habit to establish to ensure good relationships.

Also, encourage tasks that require them all to work together on a single task. Something that requires teamwork for a shared goal and pushes them to work cooperatively. Something like cooking something they all enjoy might be a good example. You might assign them all individual tasks within the overall project so they each have their own individual responsibility too.

I hope these tips will help you to improve your behavior and also to encourage ways of working with your children that encourage more positive behavior and habits to form that will strengthen your relationships further.

May Allah forgive you and reward you for trying to make a change in your shortcomings.

Amen,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general. They are purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)