Sibling rivalries, arguments, and fights. It can make you as parents frustrated and mentally exhausted when your kids are constantly fighting with each other. When you try to separate them and it turns out they are begging to play together again, it makes the whole situation even more confusing.

You are not alone in this situation. Most parents consider children’s fighting with one another as a family problem. Moreover, this situation was difficult to prevent from occurring.

Although it makes you tired and even depressed, disagreements between siblings indirectly teach children how to handle and resolve conflicts at an early age. This will help them deal with conflicts in relationships outside of their immediate family as they get older.

There are many ways that parents from all over the world have suggested from time to time to deal with fights between siblings. There are several ways that you can do to deal with siblings’ fights that often occur.

Let Them Know Themselves Together

It was easy to realize that they were siblings. The older ones are meant to be more responsible and look after their younger siblings. The younger ones may feel frustrated that they cannot do what the older ones can. They always come second (or third, or fourth…).

As parents, you need to take steps to let children know that they are in the same situation. They are children and you are the parents. If you put the oldest child in a position of responsibility, you cannot blame them when they think they can manage the little one.

So, even if there are those who play a role as older and younger, tell them that they are all the same in your eyes. All have the right to express their opinion. If the young ones were wrong, the young ones had to admit the mistakes. Meanwhile, if an older child is wrong, he must have the courage to admit his mistake too.

Equivalent but Different

Even though they are all the same, we know that all children are individuals just like you. Therefore, it is important to start teaching them from the start that “equal and fair” does not always mean being treated the same way.

Every child must be treated fairly and as an individual. If the children feel something is not fair – listen to them. Admit that they feel that way but take your time to explain why treating them fairly can mean treating them differently.

Then, explain why there are differences. Could it be that they got a new bike when they were the same age? Is it possible that a 6-year-old sibling can both use a computer like a 10-year-old brother?

Give Children Time

Children need time. They are selfish in nature. Therefore, one of the greatest gifts you can give them in relation to their relationship with each other is to give them regular, undivided one-on-one time.

Although modern life can make this difficult to do, it is very important. When you are together, give yourself to your child’s needs. Tell them that you care about your children no matter what kind of approach you take.

Making Rules

If necessary, you can create rules for your children. You can write down the rules and post them in the children’s play area. The contents of these regulations are about the rules of fighting and provide consequences if they break the rules.

Make sure that as a parent, you apply positive and educational rules. For example, cleaning the yard together, decrease their pocket money at a certain time, time out (thinking about their mistakes together by standing separately, keeping quiet, and reflecting on their mistakes), etc. This rule is made so that they remember it when they fight. If they cannot consistently break the rules, compliment them. So that they feel appreciated.

Teach Children to Solve Problems Together

If you see sibling fighting occurs, you are tempted to go in with an adult approach and solve the problem before it starts. However, you miss their chance to learn important things from your siblings, namely learning to solve problems.

Instead, let the kids know that you are aware of a fight that is going on. Let them know you know they can solve their problem brilliantly and that you will come back to them in a few minutes to hear their solution.

This gives them the responsibility to solve their problems. When you return, listen to the solution they have tried to come up with together. Check if both sides are happy. Then praise them for their approach. If that does not work, you can come up with the solutions you made for them.

Celebrate Difference

It is only natural to see comparisons among your children. But keep this to yourself. Celebrate what everyone does and be careful not to label them. If you label your children, for example, ‘smart’ or ‘sporty’, you are indirectly limiting their potential and also the potential of their siblings who feel they can’t compete and are not good in that field.

One other important thing is, never start a sentence with “Why can’t you do X like your brother …”. This will make your child even more depressed and feel inadequate. It will lose their confidence if they often hear statements like this from you.

If you can prevent sibling fighting by applying the steps above, you have taught your children good things. Siblings are forever and they can be good friends for life. Therefore, they need help to build the right foundation with your strategy as a parent.

May 10, 2021

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