Sibling Rivalry: How To Keep The Peace Among Siblings
Tired of having to separate your children every now and then? Tired of playing the part of the referee every time they start to fight? Even though you cannot force your kids to agree at everything together, you can teach them how to be at peace with each other without having to scream or yell. As we all know, fighting among siblings is totally normal, after all as a kid we all experienced the same things.
However, this is not an act we usually like to accept at home. Whenever there is a fight amongst our kids, we often tell the eldest to behave their age and stop disturbing the younger ones. Why do we do this?
The popular opinion is that they are the ones that need to be corrected – by doing this we are tolerating the younger ones, indirectly telling them that whatever they might have done is right. In as much as we like to see our children be best friends, we also need to do this without creating enmity by always correcting one without doing that to others.
So now, picture your kids playing together, without you having to run downstairs to separate them from brawling each other. So like so many of the other things we train our kids, the best way to effectively keep peace needs to be taught from our homes.
Here are some rules you can lay to ensure continuous peace;
1. Know When to Interfere
Since fighting among siblings is a normal thing, when do you interfere? A child specialist advice you don’t jump in too soon, she said “Working things out with siblings helps instill coping skills in your children, and that will help them later in life,” What does this mean? It means you teach them to negotiate their way through things before you jump in.
But the moment you notice they are getting physical? Then you step in. This does not mean you wait till they go WWE on each other though. This is a better way, even though it will take time and patience, it will pay off at the end.
2. Don’t forget to Set Boundaries
Also, set boundaries, let them know they have the right to express themselves, but they should never result in hurting their siblings. So if you see your daughter biting the brothers, let her know you understand she is frustrated, but she should understand the rule of not hurting each other. As children, you might have to state these boundaries to them often, you can see it as a way to get them along.
3. Respect their Differences
In as much as you want your kids to play together, this cannot always happen. If your kids are getting along pretty well with few screaming and yelling in a day, then I’d say that’s okay. The real truth is, we cannot always get along with everyone around us, be it our spouse, colleagues at work, our children, and even our pets. It is crucial we respect their differences and temperaments.
There is no harm in you telling your kids to give their sibling some space – you can engage them in activities that will keep them occupied. When you allow your kids to have their space, you develop their independence, it allows them to do things on their own.
4. Support the love
It is not every time our kids will be acting like Tom and Jerry in the house. Be on the lookout for those sweet moments between them and encourage more of those. We do see them, but we should also say them out. ‘It was nice of you to have shared your candy with your sister’ or ‘Thank you for letting her have the Television remote.’ When you see your children carry out these kind gestures, praise them.
When you do this, you make the kids feel good about themselves, and they ’ll definitely want to do more of that.
5. Love Them Equally
Like I said earlier, when we try to correct a particular child for the other, you deepen the rivalry. One way to ensure everyone gets along very well is making sure they get to spend time with you, one-on-one. As a parent, you know how hurtful it is when it seems like only one of the siblings is getting all the attention.
The alone time does not have to take forever, you can just watch their favorite shows with them, play their games, read with them, or take a stroll. Let them choose what they want to do with you, they feel more in control, and they connect well with you.
While you try to act all these on neutral ground – no favoritism, teach them the importance of family. To your kids, tell them ‘your brother or sister is your friend forever.’ Also as their parent, be a model of good behavior, peace comes at a price.