From Foes to Friends - 5 ways to decrease sibling squabbles

Updated: Aug 22


Sibling squabbles are a normal part of family life especially when kids are around each other for days at a time but the constant bickering, badgering and sometimes physical behaviour can be hard going for parents. So, here are some tips to help decrease your sibling battles.


1) 'Team work makes the dream work'

Be mindful of putting your kids in competition with each other all the time and encourage them them to work together. This could be playing on the same team at a game or having to choose a movie together. Being able to big each other up, instead of tearing each other down and learning the art of compromise will make a big difference in managing conflict.


2) Don't compare

It is very easy to do but comparing your children to each other will build up resentment, not just between their siblings but with you also.


3) Acknowledge

It is important your children know that you understand their feelings. Acknowledgment can help diffuse the strong emotions they are showing and you will be able to talk it through easier.


4) One to one time

Ensuring that each sibling gets one to one time with you is important. This way they won't feel the need to compete for your attention which is often a factor in squabbles. It also gives them chance to open up to you about anything that may be worrying them which they might then take out on their siblings.


5) When the going is getting tough...get involved!

A lot of squabbling shouldn't require much intervention from you as the steps above will enable them to solve things for themselves, but if things get physical, spiteful and very hurtful, then you need to intervene, separating them into different rooms and talking to them individually.

While apologising is important, be mindful that saying sorry doesn't mean it is ok to behave in that way. Encourage them to come and talk to you instead when things get tough or to walk away from the situation.



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