How do you stop people fighting each other or you wanting to lash out at others? Good question.
The answer to this can help lessen people's anxiety.
A point to note in every interaction is that (no matter their age) our Mummy's, Daddy's, Sister's and Brother's, whilst perhaps annoying, deserve your respect, and I pray more than anything, that they give respect back to you too, and never engage in violent behavior or unwanted sexual behavior with or towards you.
This goes for intimate partners, in their daily interactions also.
My kids (I am using a situation with them to demonstrate that potential conflict situations happen in families all the time, especially with young children, boys in particular as they tend to show their agitation physically and perhaps lash out, rather than by speaking it!) who get along well the majority of the time, but the other 10% they are hitting, pinching and hurting each other back and forth with one usually in tears at the end of it.....and when I ask why they do it, I always get the response....'He started it!'...or 'He hit me first'!
Now I always make an effort to ensure that I am making their BEHAVIOUR wrong, rather than LABELING THEM AS WRONG OR CALLING THEM HURTFUL NAMES.
ie. so I say something like, "What you did was silly"...instead of, "You are silly".
Today, as much as I love them, I was a bit over the way they were misbehaving, so I turned around to them and said....
"Hitting and hurting each other is not a smart thing to do... because when you launch at someone (physically or verbally) (I wouldn't even do this mentally), you really only give that person three options..."
hit/hurt, push, pull or verbally abuse you back (usually harder)
shut down on you (and possibly bad mouth you to others) at least until they get an apology or..
remove themselves from your presence (possibly permanently) until they can handle responding, hopefully with love, compassion and the upmost care
Then I thought Hmmm, this doesn't just apply to kids...this applies to all of us!!!
It could even be a cry for help, so be careful not to react with similar behaviour.
Perhaps our world leaders need reminding also!
Keep in mind that large emotional changes like moving locations, houses, perhaps having a relationship change form ie. from intimate to platonic, or perhaps even a health issue that weighs on you can throw us into a state of OMG and overwhelm very fast and can lead to conflict when you have to drag others along with you, like unwilling family members.
Some people, even us here at RR, may say things like, I don't have to help you, I am doing it because I care...and the truth is that we and others are giving away free information, so please always see their side of the storey, and do your best not to take your issues out on others who perhaps just happen to be in your presence at the time.
A argument can happen today and in an hour's time, you can regret that which was said or done, which is why it is a very good idea to not react at height of your emotional state, especially anger, and instead, take a moment to let it pass and try and stay calm and logical, we know it can be very hard but it will stop your feelings of shame and regret and perhaps even the repercussions of someone walking important to you walking away from you for good.
Please also give people their privacy in the bathroom and when in bed, so they don't feel as though you are invading their personal space and perhaps encroaching on them too much in relation to their bodily functions also, especially women having their menstrual cycle and not wanting to share what is happening with their partners or family members or friends in detail.
Anyway, here are some tips to help manage your kids when they fight:
1) Make sure that they are not bored and have activities to do.
2) Spend quality time with each child on their own so they feel they have their needs met by you.
3) An idea is to catch them in the act whilst doing the right sort of things, perhaps encourage them and make sure that you acknowledge and thank them for doing those things. With a child, a primary school teacher taught me that it is a great idea to point out what they are doing right in front of other children, so that the others are motivated to behaviour similarly and do the things they need to in order to gain your positive attention. Comments like, " you are sitting there so nicely" or " you are playing so well together" or " I like that you are taking turns" set the scene. This does work for adults too.
4) Perhaps set up rituals so they know who will get to pick the TV show (maybe allocate times for them to pick or take it in turns), who goes to bed at what time, who will shower at what time each morning, who does what chores around the house, including making their beds each and every day.
Them acknowledge this behaviour, say thing like " I saw you made your bed this morning, and was happy, please continue" and positively reward this behaviour though your words and encouragement etc. This must be reinforced over and over again until it becomes entrenched in their daily, weekly and monthly routines.
5) Maybe get the kids involved in setting up some family rules that you will all stick to and agree on some consequences if someone breaks those rules and put them somewhere everyone can see them.
6) If you keep an eye on your kids, you will be able to sense when a fight is brewing and turn their attention elsewhere perhaps by suggesting we go outside and pat the dog, or if in the car, suggest playing 'eye spy' or something similar.
7) Most importantly I ask that you please do your best to demonstrate the kind of behaviour you wish to see in them as they will model it whether you like it or not! Keeping your cool is not always easy and trust me please, I know and have been challenged and pushed to my limits so many times in my life, not just by my kids too. I do everything I can to stay in alignment with my values and show respect to every child in particular, but most of all, everyone your loave and care for.
(Sometimes I leave my typing errors in here on purpose as we could interpret loave as 'love, loathe, or even loaf....of bread perhaps. like that which we take and eat off in religious ceremonies to honour the Lord our God').
Keep in mind that defending is not fighting and is sometimes necessary.
The best forms of defence are to:
- Using humour to disarm a situation, perhaps even slight self depreciating humour like...yep, I am ridiculously tall but that means I can beat you in a game of basketball by slam dunking right over you, are you up for a game sometime! Hehe ; }. In your head perhaps turn your perceived flaws into assets so you can do this and by doing so, not let people's harsh or depreciating comments get to you (if they point out your limitations or shortcomings or physical attributes in a negative way, as they see them).
- Stay well and healthy on every level, in particular physically, socially etc.
- If it is safe to do so, communicate your needs and feelings in the moment that the conflict happens, in a calm, sensible manner and do your best to keep your emotions at bay (we discuss this in our blog videos), and communicate quickly and succinctly where possible, and stick to the facts, do not hurl personal insults.
Remove yourself as fast as you can from any violent conflict situation, and wait until the other party calms down to discuss anything & perhaps alert the relevant authorities; and then explain very honestly how it is affecting you and ask them not to indulge in that behaviour again.
Another way to break a pattern of behaviour or an awkward, uncomfortable or mild conflict situation is to distract the other person completely (to shift their focus and give them a chance to calm down - this is the best one to use for young kids).
It can be so hard to navigate situations with others. that perhaps seem to want to take their issues out on you, but hang in there, hang on tight in general but also to those that are worth the effort, and give them a chance to redeem themselves where possible, even if it is years later.
Silence can also sometimes be our best defence, particularly when we feel like we have to repress our feelings or are feeling repression; Defined in the Oxford doctionary (aren't words sometimes like a doctor, they are for me and I want to share my experiences with you - that was a typing error but I liked it so left it in here) "is the restraint, prevention or inhibition of a feeling, quality etc." or even more seriously and scarily defined as: "the action of subduing someone or something by force".
Having said this, I pray that you have enough support of at least good friends and family that you could possibly talk to.
Life isn't about getting everything you want or getting it all perfect, it is more about meeting every stressful or challenging situation in a way that is as constructive as it possibly can be for all parties involved, in order to seek a resolution and harmonious situation.
Women tend to give their all to people and partners, and hope deeply for the same in return and don't always get it, and that includes trust and respect and healthy treatment.
In the words of the superstar singer & songwriter PINK..." We are not broken, just bent and we can learn to love again".
The problem though is that whilst we may still love people deeply and oh so hard, some of the trust we had in them is lessened a bit, even though you don't show it perhaps. And you may long for the safety of someone who is as trustworthy as they can be despite the challenges that have hit them in the past and we adore them for being that person for us.
Sometimes when we go through all of this, we can respond in so many ways, and sometimes we have to be fierce in our resolve to stick to our values, particularly honesty and integrity and sometimes we can get to the point where all we care about is that people are alright....even those who have perhaps not done the 'right' things by in the past, because we want them alive and well no matter what....not only for them but for their children, friends and family, and we wish no ill feeling on anyone.
You know sometimes I think of our language and the works we have chosen to do and the words we have chosen to express ourselves in the past, present and hopefully future, because when I think of, even a Country like the USA, we can forget that the 'U' stands for 'United We Stand', and I like to think that my & our Country is also United, perhaps something like UA is possible for us too as we, us mates down in this 'Great Southern Land' (Ref: Midnight Oil Band Lyrics), unite every single day to make each other comfortable no matter what they see or feel; welcome people from all parts of the world; visit them, marry and have families with them and teach them some of 'our ways'.....not just mate ship but loyalty, a ridiculous friendliness, sense of fun and cheekiness (think both our Crocodile Dundee's ie. Paul Hogan & Bindy's Dad Steve Irwin who passed away from a stingray he was swimming with - so please be ridiculously careful of our wild animals and sea life, even if you are trying to help them); intelligent banter, and the want to be with other incredible people doing incredible things worldwide.
In God We Trust. Now I can try and attempt in another blog to define what I think GOD is. Scary but worthwhile as long as we all keep an open mind.
Perhaps a clue about my thoughts can be found in the blog article 'Earthbound Thinking'.
PS. Want more of this? Well then, sign up to our regular blog & Facebook Group (and get a free gift to ensure you overcome fear or anxiety and live your dream or teach your teenager how to, worth $197) HERE
PPS. Want a FREE downloadable 'Values' booklets for 5-10 year olds, then GRAB THEM HERE
Inside you get a recipe that is easy for them to make, some fun craft and edible art to do that will keep your children busy and having fun for hours, plus teach and explore what gentleness or kindness etc. really means to them!!
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