As a parent, you’ve heard it all before, “MOM!! She stole my stuff!” “He won’t stop poking me.” Sibling arguments are inevitable and keeping the peace between siblings can seem like an impossible task. But, there are some techniques to try to help minimize conflicts among siblings, and skills on how to work out conflicts without them escalating to the next level.
Teach your kids the importance of recognizing and setting boundaries. Boundaries teach kids that they have the right to personal space or feelings. It also teaches your kids that they have a voice, and teaches them how to handle situations with their siblings and other kids without always running to you as the parent. If one of your kids sets a boundary, and the sibling doesn’t respect it, then you may need to step in to assist with enforcing boundaries.
When conflicts among siblings arise, and they work it out themselves with constructive problem solving, praise them. Showing kids that their problem-solving is recognized and positive will encourage them to continue to resolve problems this way. As your toddlers grow, problem solving will become more and more natural to them.
Respect each of your child for their unique needs and differences. Using comparisons can spark sibling rivalry. Instead, recognize each of your child’s accomplishments and efforts individually. Avoid discussing sibling differences in front of them to avoid one child becoming insecure or questioning their own personality. Praise each child for their strength, but don’t compare them to their brother or sister.
Keep a positive attitude about what it means to be a big brother or big sister. Help incorporate older siblings into younger siblings’ routine. If your little ones attend the same Raleigh preschool, put a positive spin on what it means to help look out for their younger sibling. Seeing your sibling in the hallway or on the playground during the day can turn into an exciting surprise rather than be a nuisance.
All siblings fight. But focusing on how to appropriately resolve conflict and keep as much peace as possible can go a long way in your child’s development. Remember to stay calm the next time your kids are fighting, and that will help them calm down too.
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