Stop Refereeing Your Kids’ Fighting with These 8 Guaranteed Tips


kids' fightingGuest Post By: Wilkins Learning Center

Have you ever felt like you are a referee for children solving problems all the time? 

Example: My toy! NO!! MY toy!! I had it first! 

Take off your referee whistle! Involve children to solve problems, respectfully, with you! 

Wilkins Way Approach: Problems are really mistake-a-licious! It’s a time to learn! 

To guide children through this respectful process, parent must choose two feelings: CALM & NEUTRAL.

  • If you stay CALM, chances are they will be, too! 
  • Chances are, more happened than what you heard or saw. Be NEUTRAL. All children will be valued and learn. 

Wilkins Way Approach: 8 “Kid-Tested” Problem Solving Steps Helps Raise Kinder Capable Kids 

*For safety, if a child is aggressive, have kids sit apart

  1. Bring children involved together to honestly share what happened. They each get a turn to share. Set the toy, if  it is the issue in the argument, out of reach or on a shelf.
  2. Have children sit down, you, too! “Let’s have “kind talking” about it. No yelling.” 
  3. Say, “I can tell you both like the same thing, so let’s solve the problem together. Be honest. Tell the truth. I’m  not going to get upset.” 
  4. Mistakes are mis-take-a-licious! It’s about learning and applying wisdom to figure out a better choice so  friendship grows.” 
  5. To affirm their capability, tell them they are intelligent and have great minds/ideas. 
  6. Set the ground rule that each child gets a turn to share what happened while the other child listens. Looking at  the child talking helps. If a child interrupts, explain they will have a turn.
  7. Choose one child at a time to share. Parent states back what each child said. This helps clarify if parent heard  it correctly, and child feels valued. Parent also “role models” the process for children. 
  8. Ask, “What did you learn? Problems are Mistake-a-licious!” Then, together, CHEER: We’re problem solvers!

Respectful problem solving teaches a timeless life skill children will apply throughout their lives! Raise Kinder Capable Kids! 

The more this is practiced, the sooner kids will choose calm, talk about it respectfully, and come up with ideas of how to solve it on their own. Use higher-level thinking skills. Children are intelligent! Solving problems with children requires you to stop your hurried body. Sit. Choose CALM. Listen. Value kids and their problems; the Wilkins Way!

Children Who Learn to Resolve Conflict are..

  • Less aggressive 
  • Better able to cope with frustration through calm honest conversation  
  • More empathetic, kind, and respectful 
  • Requires higher-level thinking skills 
  • More understanding of other points of view  
  • Awareness that their actions affect others

Additional Information 

Having taught thousands of children and, collectively, having taught over 75 years, my daughters and I learned children are far more intelligent than what we thought. They might be in little bodies, but they are created with amazing minds! When given the chance to engage in problem solving, they often come up with thoughts adults hadn’t considered. 

To guide children through this process, parent must choose two feelings: Calm & Neutral. If you reflect calm . . .  children will, too!

  1. Be Neutral. CALM. There is always more than what you saw. Be like a mirror; reflect calm. If you choose  “CALM,” chances are children will, too!  
  2. Explain they both get a chance to share / be honest. Compliment their honesty. It’s a time to learn! 3. Identify with their feelings i.e. “I see you both like the same toy.” 
  3. Ask each child involved to tell the truth about what happened. “I won’t get upset.” 
  4. Parent states back what each child says. This clarifies what was said / child feels valued you listened! 6. Then ask, “What could you do differently? What are some other choices?” 
  5. Close with, “What did you learn? Problems are mistake-a-licious!” 

Interested in Learning more about Wilkins Learning Center? Check out their website here for more information! 

This blog post is a sponsored post written by East Valley Moms contributors on behalf of some of the brands featured in the post, but all opinions are 100% ours. Thank you for allowing us to partner with brands we believe in to continue to bring you free content!


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