Kids will pick fights with their siblings to get some attention, to right a perceived injustice, or, sometimes, just because they're bored. A little one-on-one time with a child who appears to be itching for a fight can smooth things over. If that's not possible, try distraction. "One day my 4-year-old grandson, Dustin, began a tirade by knocking his 1-year-old cousin, Savanna, off a chair," says Jill Vanderwood, 56, a Salt Lake City grandmother of six . "Savanna was crying and when I attempted to isolate Dustin, his 2-year-old sister, Alyssa, began crying as well — which set Dustin off into tears." Desperate to calm everyone down, Vanderwood, the author of the children's book What's It Like Living Green?
(BookSurge, 2009), completely changed her strategy. "I said, 'Who wants to take a bath?' in the most cheerful tone I could," she says. "The children forgot what they were upset about and all jumped into the tub."