How To Get Your Kids to Get Along

Getting Your Kids To Get Along

I am very excited to announce we have a guest blogger today – Amanda (of Growing Up Madison) is here to offer us some parenting advice for how to get your kids to get along. I absolutely love visiting Amanda, Madison, and the rest of her crew because I learn so much when I’m on their site. I find myself pinning many, if not all, of the parenting posts. Without further ado, allow me to introduce you…

Hi everyone, it’s a privilege to guest post today on Ruffles and Rain Boots. I met Sarah through another blog that I frequently visit and I just fell in love with her crafts. You might see me commenting and often times pinning because I can’t get enough of her work. Now here’s a bit about me. Most know me as Amanda or Madison’s mom and I blog over at Growing Up Madison, you know, the blog that totally belongs to the precocious 3 year old. We do a lot of parenting tips, a few crafts and recipes and a lot of children reviews and giveaways. As a mother of 4 children, ages 18, 14, 10 and 3 I can certainly relate to the topic I want to talk to you about today. “Getting your kids to get along”.

Getting Your Kids to Get Along

Let’s face it… Siblings will fight with each other and I can testify to that as I have witnessed these fights first hand. No matter how close or far apart your children are in age, there’s something special about siblings that cause shouting and hitting to be the norm. If you feel like you’re about to pull your hair out over your fighting kids, here are some tips you can use to help get your kids to get along.

Set Some Boundaries

No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to get your children to stop fighting completely. You can, however, minimize the amount of fighting that they do, so don’t be afraid to set some boundaries. A little bit of bickering is pretty normal, but make sure you set some rules to prevent your children from saying hurtful things or calling names. Once your children cross these boundaries, you’ll need to have some consequences in place so they learn that the boundaries shouldn’t be messed with!

Give Them Their Own Space

Sometimes fighting siblings just need a little alone time. To help get your kids to get along, make sure each child has a “me” space that they can go to for some peace and quiet. Bedrooms are definitely perfect for this, but you’ll need to think of something else if your children share rooms. If this is the case, then you can dedicate a corner in an office or a space in the basement to each child. Once your children get a little space, they’ll get along much better with each other.

Give Them a Chance to Bond

Although you can’t force your children into becoming best friends, you can give them opportunities to bond and develop their relationship. A great way to do this is to find activities that your children have in common. This is easier with younger children since playing with toys is a favorite pastime, but if you have older children, this can be a little tricky. If your children don’t have much in common, then you can give them a chance to bond during whole family activities, such as a day bowling or mini-golfing.

Make a Fighting Jar

When the fighting gets to be too much for you, you can take advantage of the Fighting Jar. To do this, find a jar or cup that you don’t use. You’ll then write different chores on pieces of paper or on popsicle sticks. Each time your children take the fighting too far, have them pull a chore out of the fighting jar. They will then need to complete this chore together without any fighting! If they continue to fight, then they’ll need to pull another chore out of the Fighting Jar. Not only does this keep your house sparkling clean, it also forces your children to get along long enough to cooperate on a common goal.

What are some of your best tips for getting your kids to get along?

Is anyone else loving the idea of having the squabbling kids complete a task together? That might become one of the most valuable tactics in any parent’s arsenal!

Many thanks to Amanda for sharing these tips learned from nearly two decades of parenting. Be sure to visit the whole family over at Growing Up Madison – you might enter to win a great kid’s giveaway, find a kid-friendly recipe or two, or just fall in love with the adorable, precocious little Madison herself.

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  1. One of the biggest priorities for my husband and me is that our kids get along. So far, so good! They truly are amazing brothers to one another. One thing we do is to always teach them to be kind. It’s okay to be upset, but if they need to say something, to do it in a kind and respectful way. Also, if one of the younger ones is annoying the big one, we just tell him that the little ones are trying to learn from him. We encourage him to ‘teach’ them what he’s doing. It goes from him being annoyed to looking forward to showing them how to do something.

    1. Nina, what a great way to help the older one get a life lesson while working through his frustrations!

  2. Great tips! I like the fighting jar idea. Thanks for sharing at What’d You Do This Weekend? :)

  3. Wow, with 11 brothers and sisters (Sarah has net them all) I am SOOOO glad there was no chore jar. We had assigned chores and all that, but our fighting usually ended up being placed in chairs facing eachother, sitting on our hands and not being allowed to say a word to the other – not one word. It generally ended in fits of laughter and then my Mom would release us from the chairs … Hey, we never caught on to that!(Oh … and there was only the one time a hole was punched in a wall but the room redecoration was quickly noticed and the whole story had to come out – not a good time for any of us.)

  4. With 3 little ones close in age this is a great post and yes completing a task together is always great

  5. Just came from Growing Up Madison and had to comment on the fighting jar tip. I have 3 kids all 2 years apart (12,10,8) and they never get along. I’m going to try that tip. What a great idea. I would surely have a cleaner house for sure.

  6. We are going to have five children come June, so this is a never ending battle in our home. Giving them their own space is probably our best strategy.

    1. Wow, 5 kids – what an accomplishment, Farrah! You should write your tips for getting the kids to get along. :)

  7. Having their own space is a big thing. It can be fine to share rooms when they are younger, but when they start learning a bit about independence and really turning in to their own person, they need space to explore.

  8. How can you stay angry after a hug? Hugs always bring a smile to my face. Maybe you should have them hug it out even more.

  9. These are some awesome tips! My brother and I got along for the most pat of our childhood. Now that doesn’t mean we didn’t have our fights. We had some big ones which led to a hole in the bathroom door that my dad had just replaced! Let’s just say that didn’t end so well for us! haha. I love the fighting jar idea! Another thing is to follow trough. It may seem obvious but I see a lot of parents threaten to punish or take things away for fighting, talking back, or bad behavior but they never follow through! It will never get better if a parent doesn’t follow through! Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. Set Some Boundaries is something I’m always trying to be aware of for myself even now – and find activities that your children have in common – well I did do that for my son and hubby and it worked with comic book collecting! – great ideas

    1. Boundaries are very useful when you have children and they are even great for us as adults too.

    1. You’re very welcome Laurie and I hope you were able to learn a few things while you were here.

  11. I always got along with my sister and I only had one child so never had to deal with these types of issues.

    1. That’s great Maureen. I had 2 brothers who were 12 and 13 years older than me and I can tell you that we did not get along one bit. As a matter of fact now that we’re older we still don’t get along that well but we still love each other. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Fabulous! Sometimes I know it can be a real nightmare trying to get my kiddos to get along. We’ve had to set up boundaries as well.

    1. Once again boundaries can be so beneficial. Sometimes all they need is a bit of space.

  13. Sometimes it is better for kids to just fight it and not to intervene. Most of the times my girls work out for themselves and they learn how to get along.

    1. Sometimes kids work it out on their own and sometimes they don’t. When it is starting to become a problem is when we need to step in as parents and intervene.

  14. I think bickering is part of sibling relationships. It would be nice if they did it a little less often.

    1. It would be nice wouldn’t it Maria, but unfortunately it doesn’t always happen which is why we as the parents need to help them.

  15. I like the idea of the fighting jar. My sons are 4 years apart and are now adults but they did fight some when they were younger. Mostly in the grade school years. And mostly about a sport they were playing at the time. I think what we did was have them sit out of the sport or game that they were playing and that usually resolved it for a period of time.

  16. This will be super useful to parents. My kids got along much better when they moved out for college.

    1. Liz – I just laughed unexpectedly at that and just launched water out of my mouth and all over my computer screen! That was gooooood.

  17. Having their own space is so important for keeping siblings happy. It always helped mine stay out of fights.

    1. I completely agree, Pam! I think it’s good for grown ups, too, to be honest. I know I need some space sometimes.

    1. Lesley – that might be my favorite takeaway as well. I’m thinking of getting the whole family involved!

  18. This is really great advice. I know with 4 of us kids growing up together we fought all the time. We get along a lot better now that we are all grown.

    1. How true, Catherine – I’m glad time and maturity have allowed the relationships between my sister and brother and I to settle down and find their place. Thanks for stopping by today and supporting Amanda!

  19. Hi AMANDA!!!! Two of my favourites in one place… I think my head is going to explode. LOL

    Ha! Did you write this post for me?! Seriously, my girls have been fighting so much lately. It’s exhausting!

    I like the idea of the chore jar… although my youngest is a wee young to fully get it, but I might give it a whirl anyway.

    Thanks for sharing! I pinned this to my Deliberate PARENTING board.

    Wishing both of you a lovely week.

    1. Oh, I’m sorry the girls are fighting but how fortunate for Amanda’s timing, right? ;) I was thinking the chore jar might be a bit more mature than our 3 year old can handle too, even though she has her “chores.” I’m certainly saving it for when she’s a bit older!

  20. This really great advice. I know with 4 of us kids growing up together we fought a lot. We get along a lot better now that we are all grown.

  21. My daughter is an only child, so I have to make she gets along with us! LOL! But she’s pretty good about keeping herself busy, as with most only children.

  22. I always remind them how special their sibling is to them and that they were given a gift when they had a brother or sister and that they weren’t appreciating their gift very much. I also teach them that people are always more important than things and that the thing they are fighting over is never more important than the relationship they have with their sibling. I hope this will carry over into relationships later in life.

    1. What a beautiful message, Alice, and such a great way to reinforce their love of people over things.

  23. Such great tips, especially the fighting jar and can’t thank you enough for sharing your tips here with us today!! :)

  24. I only had one Daughter so she didn’t have to get along with any brothers or sisters. Her Dad, my Ex was as bad as a kid himself though.

  25. Their own space is so important! Mine have had to share a room for years but we make sure they have spaces where they can put their stuff that their brother is not allowed to touch it. I love the idea of the fighting jar too, I may have to put one of them together!

  26. These are some wonderful tips. I have two girls that are 18 months apart and it is safe to say that they are fighting more often than getting along. Thank you Growing Up Madison for sharing these great tips!

    1. You’re very welcome Michelle and guess what, it becomes worse before it becomes better but in the end they’ll be the best of friends.

  27. I always wanted a sibling growing up -however I guess I was lucky to miss the fighting and not getting along parts.

  28. Thank you Sarah, it was a pleasure guest posting today and I hope our tips will help some families. I know it can be difficult at times with different personalities but with time and patience it can all happen.

  29. My kids are usually pretty good about getting along, but occasionally I have to bribe them ;)