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My 8 year old and 5 year old squabble all day and I am constantly saying stop hitting, please move up, why are you irritating her.  Do you have suggestions how to constructively manage the situation?

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Hi there,
My 8 yr. old and 4 yr. old have also been squabbling, and I think it's a combination of...ready for routine again and...growth spurts, and...a new phase, especially for my younger one.
My younger one has taken to hitting her big brother and this is not tolerated, but I must's not been easy to stop it either. I do find it's far better when she's rested, well napped. Thankfully, she still does a daily 2 hrs. and when we have to skip it...all effective/acceptable communication stops and the hand begins.
My older one has taken to teasing, probably a response from his little sisters abominable behavior. I feel for him, but that too is not tolerated in our home.
I find what works best get them outside. The behavior ceases immediately. I know it's not always an option, and when it's simply not, I separate them as best as I can. Distraction goes a long way.
I too am open and ready for more ideas, so please Slovi, bring them on.


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