How to make sibling rivalry a little more tolerable?

10 Apr 2018

Having two, or more, siblings who bicker and argue is normal – in fact, some would argue that it is part of the bonding process, however, knowing this isn’t always enough for you to keep your cool and stay sane when you have to deal with your kids fighting day in and day out.

It’s almost impossible to avoid arguing when you live in close proximity.  We all have different personalities which can sometimes clash – it is natural.

Cuddlers have put together a few tips and tricks to help you foster a positive and argument free environment for your children.

  1. Avoid comparing your children to one another or initiating competition between them. Games such as “Who can put on their shoes first,” or “Whoever gets to the car firsts sits in front,” are bound to cause conflict between children competing for your attention. Rather encourage teamwork and praise cooperation whenever possible.
  2. If your children are sharing a room, it can be beneficial to allow them an hour of privacy from time to time. Believe it or not, time away from their siblings can have a calming and positive effect on your child.
  3. Always make sure that you find time to be alone with each child so that you can nurture their differences and encourage their personal strengths to shine.
  4. Your child does not need to spend all their time with their sibling. Encourage outside friendships and give your child time away from sibling competitions.
  5. Always remember to teach your children to respect for one another, especially when they are fighting.

While these tips may seem helpful for avoiding conflict, try these tips to defuse the situation when you hear an argument starting:

  1. Give your children a chance to work out their disagreement on their own. This is an important skill which they need to learn.
  2. Intervene where necessary. Let each child tell their side of the story without interruption. Being heard is really important for one’s self-esteem. Remember to stay as neutral as possible and find out the facts.
  3. Ask your children “What can you do to solve this problem?” and make suggestions when your children seem stuck.

If all else fails there is one more solution you can try – AAD: Anticipate And Distract. Although this asks more of you as a parent, it can sometimes help. An intervention before the argument escalates is sometimes the only sane solution, at least for your nerves and tortured ears. Having said this, remember that it is almost impossible to be fair in every situation but in the end, it will work out, it always does.