Some siblings are friends, and the others are enemies. The question is, what can parents do to help their kids build that very special friendship, instead of competing and fighting each other?
So, here are a few tips that might help you make your home a peaceful place where conflicts and arguments are rare events.
1. Understand the reasons
Siblings may fight for different reasons. You need to understand what prevents your babies from building a healthy relationship with each other.
Children crave parent's attention and often compete for having it. But these are just the tip of the iceberg. The real cause of the constant fighting between brothers and/or sisters may be hidden somewhere deep. Their age, individual temperaments, personal qualities and even the state of their health play a significant role.
Take the kids' age, for example. Toddlers usually are not willing to share their belongings with others because they feel very protective of the things they own. For the school-age children, it is crucial to be treated fairly and not to be deprived of anything. And for the teens, the main focus switches to stating and protecting their independence.
When you have to deal with kids from different age groups, it is crucial for you to understand how their interests and personal needs change with time. Then, you will be able to prevent lots of conflicts from happening altogether.
2. Set the right role model
Kids usually mirror their parents' actions. In other words, your children will most likely fix their problems the same way you and your partner solve yours.
If both parents work as one team and treat each other with respect, it gives your kids a great real-life example of a positive and productive relationship. But if your children constantly see you shouting and using inappropriate language, they will most likely start acting the same way.
3. Do not get involved in the conflict
When it is possible, let your kids sort everything out on their own. The only case where you should intervene is when there is a danger of one child causing physical harm to another. Other than that, try not to pick sides or become a third side of the conflict.
Your children need to learn how to work out their problems without the help of the adults. So, even when you intervene, never solve your kids' problems for them. Instead, try looking for a perfect solution with them.
4. Prevent fights from happening
It is always better to prevent the fight from happening than to deal with its consequences. Here are a few tips that might help you decrease the tension between your children and keep the arguments at bay:
- set common rules. Explain your kids, which types of behavior are unacceptable, what another alternative they have, and what are the consequences of breaking these rules;
- make sure each of your babies has enough time and some space to be on their own and do what they want without their siblings' interfering;
- Set a schedule for using or “owning” the items your children argue about the most. For example, pick certain days of the week or hours of the day when each kid may use video games console or has the deciding vote on which TV show to watch next.
Also, make time for having fun together and spend quality time with your kids and partner, so that no one in your family will suffer from the lack of attention, care, and love.
Do you know any other ways to help siblings get along better? Share your experience with others by leaving a comment below.