Households with more than one child are quite familiar with feuding children--especially if they are relatively close in age. You'll find that some of your foster children will butt heads, fight, and argue constantly. Your nerves are sensitive and your temper and irritability will increase. Feuding children will disrupt the calm, peace, and harmony in your household. And often, it can lead to a domino effect of unease.
This type of behavior and the environment it creates should not be tolerated--to any degree. You'll need to deal with this situation as soon as you can. If left without constraint, it can erupt and morph into something more harmful--both physically and emotionally. Below are some ways to effectively deal with feuding children in your household.
Work it Out: First, have a serious sit-down with the fighting children. Try to help them work out their differences and their problems with each other. Act as referee during this talk--as it may get out of hand very quickly. Because sometimes altercations stem from misunderstandings, talking out any problems is crucial to moving forward. Keep in mind that your foster children may be hesitant to work it out, or they might wholeheartedly refuse altogether.
Professional Counseling: Visiting a professional counselor is always a viable option for dealing with issues within your home. He or she can help walk your foster children through their issues. While your children may not listen to you, you may have a better chance with them listening to the professional counselor--and heeding what is recommended to them.
A More Controlled Environment: Your fighting foster children may just need more of a controlled environment. This means that you authorize who can be in which part of the house at what times. This may seem a little extreme, but if it saves them from harming each other, it may be perfectly appropriate. And when your children are together, make sure there is always supervision--to stop things before it ever goes too far.
Punishments and Rewards: If your children won't stop fighting, it may be time for setting up a punishment and reward system. Come up with the system, talk about it with your foster children, and stick to it. It's paramount that you stick to this system because your foster children will know exactly what to expect as a result of their behavior.
Dealing with feuding foster children is never easy. It requires patience, hard work, perseverance, and understanding from you. But there is help out there for you. Remember that soon you'll be able to have the peace and calm in your home once again.
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I never thought such about this before until a caseworker was explaining my foster parenting style to a group of new foster parents. I thought everyone parented in their own way not a style. I was dumbfounded as I was listening to someone explain my foster parenting style, but I did ended up with some new knowledge.[more]
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