When there is more than one little one living in your home, it is almost inevitable that sibling rivalry will rear its ugly head. Parents everywhere take deep breaths trying not to explode at the annoying teasing and bickering. Sibling rivalry can seem incessant, as though it will never end. This leaves parents wondering why in the world their children fight so often and how to stop sibling rivalry once and for all.
It isn’t uncommon for parents to want their kids to have a close and warm relationship with each other, one that will carry well into adulthood and while that may seem impossible at times, it isn’t.
There are a few ways to stop sibling rivalry once and for all, fostering a positive relationship between your offspring and bringing a wave of calm over a home once filled with sibling turmoil.
How to Stop Sibling Rivalry Once and For All
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Anytime you get the chance, allow your kids to work together as a team. If you are participating in an activity the requires you divide into teams, encourage them to be on the same one. Whether you go bowling, play tennis or a board game, you children will benefit from being on the same team against their parents. It is important to always commend them for the efforts they made to work together as a team. You want them to work with each other as opposed to against each other as often as possible.
Teach Them Effective Communication
If you notice your children starting to experience negative emotions towards each other, help them translate those into words. Acknowledge their feelings and let them know you understand their frustration, teaching them how to vocalize their thoughts in a calm and appropriate manner. This will teach them to communicate effectively with one another during future squabbles. It is also important that you model effective communication as their parent. If they watch you and your significant other get extremely elevated, this will have a huge influence on how they deal with conflict. Teach them effective communication and it will follow them for years to come.
Never Compare Siblings
Comparing your children to one another intensifies their separation, jealousy and anger towards each other. Never compare siblings as they will begin to further resent each other. It is important that you avoid doing this at all costs. Rather than comparing one’s behaviour to the other, focus on each child as an individual, because they are.
Give Them Space to Work it Out
It is tempting to jump in as soon as your children start bickering, but don’t. They will never learn to resolve conflict in a positive manner if you do this. If the fighting starts to escalate, request they take their argument elsewhere. This shows them that you aren’t interested in taking sides and that they must resolve it on their own. If this doesn’t work have them separate until they can communicate effectively.
When it comes to banishing sibling rivalry once and for all, there are several steps you can take. Always encourage your children to work together as a team, teach them to effectively communicate, never compare them to each other and give them the space to work out their issues. While it may take time, your children will start to get along better, and you can rest easy knowing the sibling rivalry has diminished.
Elizabeth Lampman is a coffee-fuelled Mom of 2 girls and lives in Hamilton, Ontario. She enjoys travelling, developing easy recipes, crafting, taking on diy projects, travelling and saving money!