Overcoming Sibling Rivalry

Few things disturb me more than hearing my children argue. I want my children to grow up with happy memories of their time together, not resentment over childhood disagreements.

Conflict between brothers and sisters is inevitable, but siblings can learn to see each other as friends, not rivals. Here are some tips for overcoming sibling rivalry:

  • Don't make comparisons. Appreciate differences in your children, and teach them to appreciate and admire each other's strengths.

  • Don't play favorites. Some children are easier to handle than others. It is also sometimes difficult to interact with children who share our weaknesses.

  • Ask a spouse or trusted friend if they have noticed you showing favoritism. Make a list of things you enjoy about the child you find difficult, and make a point of spending extra time with that child.

  • Don't be fair. Focus on meeting each child's needs, not making sure you treat them all equally.

  • Don't allow meanness or name-calling. As a rule of thumb, if you wouldn't let your child say it to a non-family member, don't let him or her say it to a sibling. In addition, teach your children to laugh with, not at each other.

  • Look at the wrongs of both parties to an argument. Some children can be crafty in their attempts to provoke and annoy siblings.

  • Don't separate your children when they argue. I used to send my kids to their rooms to nap when they argued until an online mentor asked me what they were learning while they were asleep. The truth is, I was only making things easier on myself. Instead of avoiding conflict, teach your children how to resolve conflict.

  • Encourage your children to enjoy each other and to prefer each other over outside friends. Let them work together on projects and chores. Help them learn to see themselves as part of the same team.

Fostering good relationships between siblings is hard work. But remember, proper socialization begins at home. A child who can get along with his brothers and sisters can get along with just about anyone!

Siblings Without Rivalry

Siblings Without Rivalry

Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too is the best book I've read about sibling rivalry.

It provides a window into the feelings that drive our children's negative interactions with each other, and provides realistic solutions for overcoming those problems.

The book is full of scripts that show how to communicate with children without yelling or threatening, in a manner that helps them learn to express their feelings and resolve conflict.

The drawings in this book add a light touch to a serious topic. They are hilariously realistic, and provide clear examples for changing unhealthy patterns and addressing troubling behaviors.

Siblings Without Rivalry is easy-to-read and entertaining, yet honest and helpful. Follow this link to learn more about Siblings Without Rivalry.

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