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I can't take the CONSTANT bickering & fighting!

I had the worst day today . . . my throat hurts from yelling so loudly at my children.  I feel out of control, and my heart aches because my entire household was in an uproar this afternoon. The ongoing sibling rivalry between my children is out of control. 

My little one is starting to mimic and pick up all the negative tones and expressions of her older siblings. I am losing my patience and there is an unhappy vibe going on right now. The sad thing is that besides the normal rivalry that happens between siblings, my children are treating each other with disrespect and it’s hurtful.

This all occured after my son and my daughter had decided to have a running around the house, chasing each other, slamming doors in each others faces, shouting match early in the day. I had politely asked them to stop and was constantly ignored each and every time I told them to stop their behavior. After they were done 'fighting' and both were crying because they had hurt each other, I totally let them have it. It was not pretty!

Then I sat and wondered about the way I handled myself and beat myself up. What am I doing wrong. Have I missed teaching them a particular lesson? Am I not teaching them to be kind and considerate? I am always stating to my children, "love and kindness", yet I don't see very much of it lately.

I have written in our classroom . . .  "Be obedient . . . show perfect courtesy to everyone" {Titus 3:1-2} I just can't seem to place where this behavior comes from. Children learn good manners, and appropriate behavior, when parents take the time to teach it, and to enforce the rules. I teach my children good manners and I enforce good manners. I am not an absentee parent so I am just at a lose as to what I am doing wrong. Flabbergasted I tell you. Is this just a normal phase because I really just do not think it is.

What do you do to control and minimize the fighting? I try taking away favorite toys, grounding, expressing disappointment, separating them, nothing is working! I know that siblings fight, I am not naive to this reality. BUT - -  but I am intolerant to my children treating each other in an unkind way. I won't have it!

Any advice? I need a different approach. One that is on the road to scream free parenting!

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