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How to Manage Sibling Rivalry and Fights


If you have more than one child, chances are you have heard the sweet little voices of your little ones turn into irrational screeches of horror when their brother or sister is touching them, breathing in their direction, or looking at them. Even siblings that are the best of friends can get into a fuss here and there. Siblings know each other better than anyone else, which means they know exactly what buttons to push to drive each other crazy! What do you do when the fights, squabbles, and rivalry seem to be taking over the house?   

Here’s a few tips that could help resolve them and stop them before they even start.

Make them spend time together

It’s not about putting them in a get along shirt (although, there are times that's tempting), but have your kids spend time together doing fun things. Give them the chance to go out together for a “date” with mom or dad. Pick something that they both like to do, even if it's just going out for ice cream. It gives them the chance to spend time together while on neutral ground. Those experiences will bond them and over time, causing their relationship to grow. 

Teach them to be thankful for each other

This isn't an easy task, and it’s likely going to be something you will have to remind them over and over again. When your kids are fighting with each other, make them stop and list two-three things they love about the other person or are thankful for them. While it's not foolproof, and sometimes they will 'struggle' to name a few things, it does help them to change their perspective.  It’s important to get the focus off of themselves, and take a moment to remember what they appreciate about each other.  

Teach them how to apologize

It takes two to argue, so there is always some part of the fight that each child will be responsible for. It's important to have your kids think about where their responsibility lies. They can't control what others do to them, but they can control how they react to it. Teach them to apologize, their apologies might not be genuine at first, but it's good for them to know what steps to take when they need to say they are sorry.  Have your child say what they did, why it was wrong, and then that they are sorry they did it.

Make a plan for how to handle it better next time

In the heat of the moment, it can be hard to keep your cool for adults, let alone kids. When things explode, take a moment to ask your child how they think they could have handled the situation better.  Discuss with them a few ways they could handle it better next time something like this happens. Make sure you remember the “game plan” and be willing to remind them of how they planned to handle it, when things are starting to get heated.  

Don't get discouraged if your kids continue to fight and argue

Believe it or not, it’s part of a siblings job to get on each others nerves. When this happens, kids learn how to deal with conflict and people that irritate them- skills that will help them well into adulthood!  

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