Dear Mary Kay,
Hi I have two teenage boys my oldest is 16 my other son is 15. The two of them get in arguments and it turns into a physical altercations. They punch each other in the face and also on their bodies. I’m not sure if I should try breaking it up or just let them get it out of their systems. They are both very strong and very stubborn so I’m afraid if it keeps on happening one or both are going to get hurt very badly!!
Please help!! I need some advice.
Allowing violence in your home under any conditions is not advisable. They need to learn to manage their emotions and fighting is not an option to working things out. If they hit people outside your home they are going to be arrested for assault. If it is assault when it is not a family member how can it be okay to hit a sibling?
Let them know that violence in your home is not okay. If they don’t take it seriously then let them know it is a crime and they can be arrested. Then get them books and/or find some YouTube videos that explain how to talk out their feelings and work out conflicts. I would encourage some family counseling as I am sure this is not a recent occurrence it has just become an issue because they are older. Many time parents mistakenly allow children to fight as they believe it is all about how siblings behave in families. However, families are how we learn to function in the world. Our standards need to be higher not lower.
Dr. Mary Kay Keller