Kids' Discipline: Name Calling
Name-calling is very common between siblings, but that does not mean it is easy to deal with. It is important to examine what kind of argument the children are having.
Sometimes name-calling is simply part of a "nuisance quarrel." In this kind of quarrel, there is no serious problem; the kids are just picking on each other. Maybe they are just enjoying the back-and-forth, making it a game. Or maybe they like the power that comes with pushing each other's buttons. If it is a nuisance quarrel, the parents should probably stay out of it and let the kids settle it. They are learning how to deal with other people by practicing on their siblings. Or you could try to distract the children from the name-calling and give them something else to keep them busy. That works especially well with small children. It also is possible the children are trying to get your attention. If that is happening, don't give them that reward. Give them more attention when they are behaving well than when they are misbehaving.
Another possibility is that name-calling has become a habit. Habits are hard to break, because children may not be thinking about what they are doing. They may just call each other an "idiot" or a "slimeball" without even knowing they are doing it. If that is happening, you can help them become aware of what they are doing. There could be a "payment" that the child needs to make every time he or she uses that bad name. You could simply add a point to a "bad name chart" whenever that happens. Don't make a big deal of it, but calmly mark the chart. The chart might be most successful if you give a reward to both children together if they can go a whole day with neither of them name-calling.
In other situations, name-calling could be a "damaging quarrel," in which one or both are being hurt emotionally by the name-calling. If one or both children are being hurt physically or emotionally, you should get involved and help the children learn more positive ways to deal with their relationship. You could teach the children different ways to express their frustration or give them opportunities to think about the good things about the brother or sister. And you should examine your own behavior and make sure you are not engaging in name-calling yourself.