We’ve all been there. We leave the children happily playing while we go stir a pot on the stove, and two minutes later they are busting into the kitchen, screaming and pointing fingers! What did you do wrong? Not much.
Sibling rivalry comes with the territory when you have more than one child, and even the most harmonious siblings grate on one another from time to time. As Kate Orson outlines in 15 Playful Ways to Handle Sibling Rivalry, children are naturally good and actually eager to get along, but when big emotions overwhelm them battles break out.
If you often hear whining that you favor a sister or brother, you are constantly the umpire in he-said-she-said tattle-tailing, or you find yourself breaking up squabbles or fights on a regular basis, you can be sure that their sense of connection to you and with each other is low.
It is this disconnection that allows feelings between siblings to grate and to grow. Soon the feeling of discord takes over, and tempers fray.
But there are practices that you can introduce into your family, which foster feelings of long-term connection, fairness, and attention that siblings need to thrive. Practices that let you continually check in and boost connections.
With the following five strategies in place, you can be sure each child is getting frequent undivided attention, as well as space for each of them to listen and be heard. This will soothe fears that erupt from rivalry.
These five family habits do take planning, and may need adapting for your own family situation, but dedication to putting them into practice with some regularity will help build lasting bonds between your siblings. With practice, they’ll help everyone get along better.
Here are Five Bond-Building Ideas To Help Siblings Get Along.
More Help for Strong Sibling Relationships
For more on stopping sibling squabbles, join us for this live call with instructors Kirsten Volk and Susan Derby. They’ll be sharing strategies on what to do when battles break out and how to handle sibling rivalry calmly and fairly. Register for the live call or replay.