What Kids Say About: Arguing

What Kids Say About: Arguing

People don't always get along, and when they don't, it's called conflict. We wanted to know more the arguments and disagreements kids have, so we did a KidsPoll to find out.

We asked 1,245 boys and girls ages 9 to 13 about conflict and here's what they said:

But it wasn't all bad news. A third of the kids also had this to say:

Let's start with those brother and sister squabbles. It's normal and natural to disagree with your siblings. And it makes perfect sense that kids argue most with brothers and sisters. Kids spend lots of time with siblings and they feel more comfortable with them — two conditions that make arguing more likely.

Arguing with siblings can become so normal that, just like breathing, you might do it naturally without even thinking of it. But that doesn't mean lots of arguing is OK. (Just ask your parents!) And it's never OK to hit or get in a physical fight with a sibling — or anyone else, for that matter.

If you'd like to argue less with siblings (and everyone else), follow these three steps:

  1. Control your temper. This is one of the true secrets to arguing less. So often, kids (and adults) let their tempers take control. Before you know it, they've done or said something that they don't mean and wish they could take back. Staying calm and polite makes it easier to resolve conflicts and helps the other person stay in control, too.
  2. Seek out adults when you need them. It's great when kids can work out their differences without needing mom or dad to be the referee every time. But sometimes parents or other adults are helpful. They can enforce some basic rules, like "no hitting or name-calling allowed." They also can remind kids of other rules that have been set in the house, like you can't go into your sibling's room without asking first.
  3. Try to see the other person's side. Everyone says to do this, but how? The next time you're arguing with someone, take a time-out and switch sides. You take the other person's side and he or she will take yours. State the argument just as the other person has been stating it and try to understand what the point is.

    For example, if Jane and Mark were fighting over the last cupcake, Jane would have to make Mark's point about how he only got one cupcake so far. And Mark would have to make Jane's argument about how the last cupcake should be hers because they were from her birthday party. Once you've stated the other person's side, ask: "Did I get it right?"

    You might be thinking that resolving an argument this way is going to take a lot of time. It can take a while, but it's well worth it. After all that talking it out and trying to understand each other, Jane and Mark were probably ready to split that last cupcake! Mmmm!

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2015 KidsHealth® All rights reserved.
Images provided by iStock, Getty Images, Corbis, Veer, Science Photo Library, Science Source Images, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com

Bookmark and Share

Related Resources
OrganizationAmerican Psychological Association (APA) The APA provides information and education about a variety of mental health issues for people of all ages.
Web SiteBAM! Body and Mind This CDC website is designed for 9- to 13-year-olds and addresses health, nutrition, fitness, and stress. It also offers games for kids.
Related Articles
Kids Talk About: Brothers and Sisters Brothers and sisters make life more fun, but sometimes it's a bumpy ride. Find out what kids have to say about their sensational siblings.
Getting Along With Teachers Kids who get along with their teachers not only learn more, but they're more comfortable asking questions and getting extra help. Read this article to find out how to build good relationships with your teachers.
Getting Along With Brothers and Sisters Brothers and sisters might not always get along. How can you keep the peace? Find out in this article for kids.
When Your Parents Fight It's normal for parents to disagree and argue sometimes. But when parents fight, it can make kids feel upset. The good news is that usually families can work together to solve problems.
What Should I Do if My Family Fights? It's normal for family members to disagree once in a while. Learn how keep your cool during an argument.
Train Your Temper Everyone gets angry sometimes. Does your temper ever get out of control? Find out how to put a leash on it.
Saying You're Sorry Let's face it - it's not always easy to get along with sisters, brothers, parents, and friends. Kids aren't perfect, and they sometimes do things that get them into trouble. Saying "I'm sorry" can help.
Talking About Your Feelings Just talking about your feelings can make you feel better.
Developments Developments
Sign up for enewsletter
Get involved Get involved
Discover ways to support Akron Children's