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Behavior Makeover: Fighting

I'm beginning to feel like a referee: my kids are constantly fighting, and I'm constantly having to tell them what to do. I know I'm not helping them by solving their own problems, but frankly it's a lot easier telling them what to do than listening to their crying, yelling, and arguing. There has to be a better way, so what is it? I'm exhausted.

– Jake, a dad of two from Salt Lake City, Utah

"Mavis won't be my friend. I threw sand at her when she took my shovel."
"Kevin and I were benched all recess because the teacher heard us fighting about the game."
"Tim asked my girlfriend to go out, so I'm not talking to him again!"

On a day-to-day basis, the problems our kids face are tough: prejudice, sibling conflict, academic and youth sport pressures, rejection by friends, cliques and gangs, bullying, trying to get along, as well as the frustrations of just growing up. These are issues we used to think affected only older kids; the fact is that they are having an impact on our children at younger and younger ages. Although we can't protect our kids from problems, frustrations, and heartaches, we can arm them with tools to handle them better. The more we help them learn to resolve conflicts peacefully, the greater the likelihood is that they'll develop into more self-sufficient and resourceful individuals able to deal with any issue – and do so without our guidance.



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From No More Misbehavin' by Michele Borba, Ed.D. Copyright © 2003 by Michele Borba. All rights reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Buy the book at www.amazon.com.


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