Fighting the Battle Of Sibling Rivalry
Sibling rivalry is inevitable. In fact, in the 2-4 age group, kids will have some kind of fight every 6.3 minutes. That is almost 10 fights an hour!
What can parents do to help resolve sibling conflict and form deeper bonds between their children?
Here are 4 expert tips on how to help your kids get along:
1. Never compare your kids
The number one issue that causes lasting resentment between siblings is parental comparison. When a parent compares one child to another, what that child understands is that they are not good enough. This creates conflict between siblings and can increase tensions in the household.
2. Do not tolerate sibling bullying
Sibling bullying is the most common type of bullying: 75% of kids report being bullied by a sibling. This type of bullying can be extremely harmful and create lasting trauma for kids. It is up to parents to nip any negative behavior in the bud and emphasize mutual respect before the bullying gets out of hand.
3. Hold weekly family meetings
Family meetings are a great opportunity for everyone in the family to air their grievances. They are a time for families to gather and freely communicate with each other without repercussions. Family meetings can be an opportunity for family members to apologize to each other and eliminate any bad feelings that may have built up during the week.
4. Mediate but do not judge
When parents intervene in sibling arguments, it is important that they do so in a constructive and unbiased way, and allow their children to resolve their own problems. One way to mediate a sibling argument is to frame the issue and restate each child’s position, and then allow them to problem solve together.
Remember parents, the effort you put into helping your kids to get along now will pay off big in the future - a positive relationship with a brother or a sister in childhood, will result in a best friend for life!