Sibling rivalry is common in every home. It’s only natural for siblings to fight occasionally. It’s how you deal with sibling rivalry and sibling fighting that will help your children to get along.
Sibling Rivalry: How to diffuse it
1.) Don’t play favorites
Have you ever been asked “Mommy/Daddy, who is your favorite child? They go quiet while they eagerly wait for your answer and look at you with pleading eyes while you ponder, so anxiously hoping you would say their name so they can “one-up” the other. You know that you have to choose your words very carefully…
Ask them how it would be possible to choose a favorite when they are both so very different? Then remind them of a few of the very unique qualities you love about each of them that endears them to you in a special way.
Be very specific when listing their good qualities. In our case we mention the fact that Alex always does her chores without being asked and loves to help mommy. To Josh we acknowledge how smart he is and how much we appreciate how he always teaches us interesting facts about space. I mean, how would we otherwise have known how many planets there are in the solar system, their order in the galaxy according to size and matter, and when we can expect the next solar flare from the sun?
2) Encourage their friendship
Remind them of all the friends you had in the past that you’ve lost touch with. Teach them that friends are fleeting but family is forever. They might as well learn to get alongbecause they are in each others’ lives forever.
3) Force them to co-operate
Put them in a situation where they are forced to work together. If they are fighting it means they are bored. A boredom buster can be chores.
You can give your children a list of simple chores they have to complete together. No playing until their chores are done. It forces them to work together and to communicate with one another. Giving them a common goal will go a long way to resolve the conflict.
3) Help them to serve one another
Ask one child to assist the other instead of helping them yourself. In my experience, when I give my son an opportunity to do something “brotherly” for his little sister, he spends the rest of the day LOOKING for other ways to help her.
4) Unplug them
Switch off the TV, take away the games and computers until the only entertainment they have is each other. You will find that the best imaginary games emerge when the children are unplugged from technology.
5) Separate them when necessary
Sometimes the squabbling and fighting gets so bad that the only thing you can do for their own safety and your sanity is to separate them. As much as they couldn’t stand each other in those moments of fighting, they would rather be fighting together than lonely apart.
Are your children fighting even though they have a close relationship? Share a comment below and tell me what works for you?