Sibling rivalry:  How to stop all the fighting

People always ask if I’m crazy when I say I want more kids. I guess the short answer is, yes, yes I am. But seriously, I think one of the best gifts I can give my kids is their siblings.

That’s not to say it is a cake walk–one of the hardest parts of having more than one kid is managing the relationship they have with each other. Some days it seems like they wake up with the goal of destroying one another.

Don’t Compare

It’s so hard not to compare your kids to each other. But doing so pits them against one another. Instead just DESCRIBE what you see, what you like or don’t like, or what needs to be done.

Instead of worrying about trying to make things equal, it’s more important to focus on what each kid NEEDS (nothing is EVER going to be equal, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fair).

Things can’t and shouldn’t be “equal”

Avoid placing kids in roles

It’s important not to label kids with qualities whether good or bad. Pointing at one for being social and the other for being shy only brings a bigger divide.

Okay but they still fight…

Yes, unfortunately some fighting is inevitable but here are some strategies to help get them to work things out on their own.

Describe what you see. “Oh wow, looks like you’re really angry that Charlotte is using your truck and you want to hit her with that block.” (this is where you take the block)

They will likely start telling you what happened. Listen to each side with respect and without judgement.

Show you understand how difficult the problem is (and remember that even though a problem may seem small to us it can seem HUGE to them…) Say something like: “Yeah it’s really hard when someone is using something that is special to us.”

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