My Sons Always Fight, What to Do?

25 April, 2019
Q My two sons are very different; they fight often and while they play together, they usually just end up yelling at each other or physically hitting one another. I spend lots of time with both of them as I'm a stay-at-home father and home school them. I feel they get 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. They spend a good amount of time with their mother.

Sometimes she goes away on trips for a week at a time or a day or two. However, overall she is there most of the time for the boys if need be. As parents, we don't fight often if at all between ourselves. Sometimes, we do yell at the boys if they get out of hand. I used to spank my sons but have stopped doing that because I felt it did not help them become better or teach them. If they are bad I take away their toys or send them to their room, afterwards try to explain to them why they were disciplined. I think the yelling is not good, but sometimes it is a way for us to vent because we do spent lots of time together compared to families who send their child to school or just see them a couple of hours a day.

We are a very close family. However, I wonder why the boys 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? The boys are very intelligent and are very healthy, but I am worried about their anger at times and not listening to me or their mom.

Perhaps this is a normal process at their age, but I wonder what will be they like when they are teenagers if they continue with the same type of behavior. Any advice? Finally, at their age would if be appropriate to start taking them to the mosque? Thanks for your help and service.

Answer

 In this counseling answer:

•I would encourage taking them to the mosque and perhaps getting them enrolled in some recreational programs where they can interact with other kids more.

•It is also helpful to teach them problem-solving skills while they are playing with one another, to teach them to avoid arguments and fights to begin with.


As-salamu `alaykum,

It sounds from your question that you and your wife are doing a fine job in raising your sons. From what you have said, it sounds as though your kids have a peaceful and loving home to grow up in, have much healthy contact and time with you and their mother, and are not being exposed to great deals of negativity, such as being around parents who themselves fight often and are violent both toward one another and their kids.

It is unclear from what you have said and due to the nature of this forum as to why your sons fight, but honestly speaking, let’s face it – a lot of boys fight, especially when they are brothers who are close in age and are alone together so much. At this point, I would pose a question to you.

When they are around other children, do they fight and hit the same way they do with one another? That may be a better indication as to whether or not they have violent tendencies that should be of concern. I don’t think it’s fair to judge the situation based on their relationship with one another alone, but rather look and observe how they interact with other children as well.

My Sons Always Fight, What to Do? - About Islam

I also think you may have answered your own question by stating that perhaps they might feel a bit ‘cooped up’ and may experience a bit of cabin fever being alone together in the house so much. As such, if you think they can handle it, I would encourage taking them to the mosque and perhaps getting them enrolled in some recreational programs where they can interact with other kids more. That might help.

Of course, it is also helpful to teach them problem-solving skills while they are playing with one another, to teach them to avoid arguments and fights to begin with. It is always good for parents to play alongside their kids whenever possible to coach and teach them proper ways of problem-solving and communicating. Often, parents think that they can just let kids play by themselves and step in once they start fighting, but this is not often the best way.

While they are playing, try to teach them appropriate ways of playing and speaking for the sake of avoiding arguments and fights rather than waiting until fights break out. Prevention is always better than damage control and by taking a more proactive approach with them, you can help them develop important competencies and skills.

I wouldn’t cause yourself stress by worrying about what your kids will become in the future. I know as parents this is virtually unavoidable, but try your best to focus on how you are with them in the present and do not think too much about what is to come. Being overly concerned with future events opens us up to all sorts of negative thinking, anxiety, needless worry and others.

It is the window of opportunity that Shaytan (Satan) uses against us. I think if we think back to our own lives and the lives of our friends and siblings growing up we will find many examples of rambunctious, hyper, out-of-control kids who ended up becoming upstanding individuals. An important reminder for us as Muslim parents is to concentrate on modeling behaviors. We should always strive to be mindful of how we do things and realize that our kids pick up on everything we do.


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So as you mentioned in your question, it is good that you are aware of how you and your wife interact, for example, because much of the basics in terms of what kids learn regarding social interaction stems from the parents’ relationship in the home and how the family interacts with one another in general.

Lastly, remember that your kids are each a manifestation and creation of Allah, and each is unique and special just as he is. Their personality differences are a blessing and could be a contributing factor to their frequent disagreements.

It is good that you are able to be with them so much and are there to mold and guide them. In this day and age, it is a lot more than most parents can afford, particularly fathers. In the end, the formula is always to trust Allah, obey the Messenger and his example of mercy and goodness, and follow your heart!

Salam

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and 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.

Read more:

How To Stop My Toddler From Hitting His Brother?!

My Daughters Do Not Stop Fighting!

 

About Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah
Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Study’s Community Education and Youth Studies Laboratory, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He received his B.A. from the University of Delaware (U.S.), his M.S. from Columbia University (U.S.) and his PhD from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies (PEKKA), Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2005 in the field of Youth Studies. Abd. Lateef is an American who has been living in Malaysia since 2001. He is married and has 2 children.