Sibling rivalry is an age-old problem. I’m sure there were little baby cave boys bashing each other with their clubs. Now they just use their toy lightsabers. Cinderella never got along with her stepsisters. Today, on National Siblings Day, help make things a little more peaceful by following the tips below to diffuse sibling rivalry.
Praise your Kids for Who They Are
Instead of rewarding your kids for doing tasks like making their beds or cleaning up their room, praise them for their remarkable intrinsic qualities. Tell your kids that you love how they work so hard. Commend them on their kindness. This fosters kids with high self-esteem instead of kids that are only going to try to perform well to make you happy. By nurturing self-confidence, you’ll encourage your kids to respect themselves and their siblings.
Provide Positive Attention
If the only time that you turn your gaze to your kids is when they’re fighting, they’re only going to fight more in order to continue to grab your attention. Be aware of moments when your kids are being kind to each other, and point those out. Take time to give your kids individual attention, too. Make special dates with each child. These dates don’t have to be fancy. Just throw on some sun protective clothing and go for a walk in the park with one kid. A few days later, grab an ice cream cone with the other. They’ll relish the chance to have one-on-one attention from you, and they might fight less in order to get it.
Help Strengthen Your Children’s Friendship with Each Other
People would rather fight with enemies than with friends. Encourage your kids to do things that foster love for one another. You could ask them to share one thing they love about their brother or sister every night at dinner. Every day, you could encourage them to do one thing to help the other. One creative way to get your kids to resolve an argument is to send them into opposite sides of the backyard. Have them yell “I love you!” back and forth to each other five times. That often gets them to release their anger and forget the original conflict.
Sometimes, siblings are just going to fight. If they’re arguing inside the house, let them know that you like to keep a peaceful environment, and if they want to argue, they have to take it outside. Put them in sun protective clothing, and send them into the backyard even if it’s a hot summer day. Chances are they’ll resolve their conflict pretty quickly.