Children are bound to fight with one another; it’s part of being siblings. Sibling rivalry is normal, too, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to do something about it. Try using one or more of these ten ways to ease sibling rivalry to bring peace to your home.
1. Ask your older children to help with the younger ones. This will encourage your children to feel proud of being an older brother or sister and will help them build a better relationship.
2. Do your best not to compare your children, especially while they’re in the same room. It’s obvious that your children are different, but you don’t want them feeling as if there’s something wrong because they’re not the same. It may also cause your children to believe you love one of them more than the other.
3. Let them handle their own disagreements. It may not be easy to do, but it’s important to let them resolve some of their own conflicts. You also want to avoid taking sides because it might give the impression you favour one child over the other.
4. Explain to your children that however angry they might get, violence is unacceptable. Let them know you won’t stand for hitting or kicking. When your children resolve their problems peacefully, be sure to praise them for doing so.
5. Take your child out of the room if you must punish or scold them. It’s important not to do this in front of the other children because it may cause the child not being scolded to tease the one who was.
6. If possible, allow each child to have their own room. You’ll also want to stress how important it is for them to avoid taking or using each other’s items without permission.
7. Have a special date each month for you to spend with each child. Spending individual time with each child doing things they enjoy will let them know how special they are to you. It will also help your children have your undivided attention, if only for a little while.
8. Set limits as far as what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. Hitting, name-calling, and putting one another down are not acceptable and you’ll want to step in if your children begin using any of those tactics. You may not want to act like the police, but it may be necessary at times.
9. Family meetings can be helpful for letting children voice differences or complaints. They’re also an opportunity for parents to restate family rules about how to treat one another, or add new rules.
10. Choose your battles wisely. You know your children aren’t always going to agree, so you might spend all of your time coming between them if you don’t let them handle things on their own. Squabbling about who had a toy first isn’t that important, but pestering until they feel they have no recourse but to strike out definitely needs your attention.
Having children can be a joy; however, it can also be stressful for parents when the children argue and fight. Using one of these ten ways to ease sibling rivalry may work for your family. It can’t hurt to give them a try.