When should we step in?
Sometimes, we may have to step in, so as to prevent injuries, or if disputes occur in public. Faced with these kinds of situations of sibling rivalry, we have to take the following into account:
- Give our children a timeout from each other until they calm down.
- Do not point fingers.
- Try reaching a compromise that suits both children in order to resolve the dispute.
Firmness is the key: Firmness doesn’t mean to reprimand our kids or shout at them, but to set strict rules and effective limits for them (such as no disputes in public, no screaming and no hitting) and make sure they understand why these rules are made and the consequences for breaking them.
Private time: It is really important that we give our children a space of their own for thinking, playing and just be alone.
Sharing is Caring: To avoid disputes on common household things, like video games and tablets, we can always create an effective schedule where these items are being shared fairly.
One-on-one time: If our children are constantly fighting, we can try spending some one-on-one time with them, so as to remind them with the rules and limits we agreed on and share with them some helpful positive experience!
Sibling rivalry can be alarming for families, yet it has its own positive aspects: teaching children about their emotions and how to handle them, teaching them about conflict resolution and how to make calm a discussion. All of these skills help in shaping our children into social beings who are able to express their feelings without hurting themselves or others!