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Fighting siblings

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Fighting siblings

Hi there


I have three girls - 8, 12 and 15. They are constantly fighting. Their language is disgusting and they threaten to hurt each other (but fortunately do not).


On many occasions I'm not a direct witness to the fighting and name calling and so I don't know how to manage it in terms of consequences because there may be lies or exaggeration involved.


Please help. It's really impacting my mental health as I feel my girls have no respect for me or each other.

Frequent scribe

Re: Fighting siblings

This is not the first time I read such a story. Perhaps you need to talk to them and find out the reason for this behavior. Teenagers are always like this, so they prove that they are adults. Perhaps, this will pass with age. Don't blame yourself for this. 

Star contributor

Re: Fighting siblings

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Hi @mumto3 , 


That sounds like such a difficult situation, dealing with conflict between teenagers can be incredibly challenging- and I can completely hear you with being unsure of how to handle things if you're not sure who's telling the truth about what's happened. 


I really like this video that Clare Rowe, a family psychologist, did for ReachOut talking about family conflict - one thing that she suggests is a family contract, where everyone sits down as a family and draws up a contract, where you set out expectations for how people will treat each other (for example speaking to each other respectfully, not swearing at each other etc) , and the consequences if those expectations aren't met. If everyone is involved in making the agreement, it tends to make it more likely that young people will buy into it- do you think something like that might work for your family? Are there any things in particular that often seem to cause conflict with your kids? 


If you're interested, we do offer a free one to one support service either online or over the phone, with a family professional who can help   you come up with an action plan - it can sometimes help a lot to talk things over with someone else! You can read more about the service here. It's completely understandable that you feel like it's taking a toll on your mental health, do you have people in your life who can help to support you? Is there anything that you enjoy doing for self care to fill your own cup? Being a parent can be exhausting and speaking as a parent of 2 myself I can definitely say that self care is often kicked down to the bottom of the list for me - but it really is so important. We are always here for support or if you need to vent.