If you have more than one child in your home, you’ll know that sibling rivalry runs rampant in every child-filled home. It seems to be an inevitable part of childhood, and the phrase, “stop fighting kids!” seems to be a large part of a parent’s vocabulary. But it doesn’t have to be as crazy as all that. Here are 8 helpful tips to stop sibling rivalry, and a few habits and handy things you can introduce in your home to minimize sibling rivalry in your home.

collage of sibling pictures

8 Ways To Stop Sibling Rivalry

Helpful Tips To Have Less Rivalry & More Peace In Your Home

Heidi is a mom of 3 busy, noisy, full-of-life blessings who are 8 years old and younger. She homeschools, tutors Cambridge students, tutors Maths and loves beach walks and nature.

image of four siblings playing in snow

1. Start The Day Connecting With Each Child

A powerful way to make each child feel noticed, important and secure is to make a habit of connecting with him/her before the rush of the day begins. Whether it is a chat over breakfast, a short walk with a child or doing breakfast dishes together while chatting, make sure to connect with each child and not get lost in the busyness that is a normal, crazy part of each day. A child that feels secure and connected will most likely start the day with a calm mood and be less prone to jumping into battle with a sibling.

2. Raise Sensitive Siblings

One of the most powerful ways a child will learn about social interactions, is with their siblings. Help each child to learn to protect and defend their siblings. Teach them to also be sensitive to their siblings needs, and if need be step in to point out certain things, such as how they can be kinder, more patient, or practice self control when they aren’t being heard in a fight. The early years are the crucial years where we teach patience, self control and other character qualities in the midst of very strong emotions they react to. Our role is to teach them how to manage their emotions, as well as how to react to them in healthy, maturer ways.

3. Set Boundaries

Teach your children about having personal boundaries. Girls may need some personal, quiet space apart from male siblings, to paint and be quiet. Teach them how to ask for that time, or to announce when they have had enough crazy boy time, and need time alone. A line like, “I’m feeling overwhelmed, and I need to be by myself for a while, please give me some space.” works wonders. Teach other siblings to respect each other’s boundaries and know when to stop and back off.  You as a parent can also set boundaries. Set aside alone time to read or do some work, and let your kids know that that twenty minutes {or however long} is time they need to practice self control and do something calm.

siblings reading together

4. Pick Your Battles {leave the little things}

Sometimes, for mom sanity, it’s healthier to leave the little battles and focus on the bigger battles. Let the bickering happen and let them work it out between themselves, but focus on taking on the more important aspects, like stepping in when a child is battling to practice self control, or is bullying another sibling. Your kids will grow in character over time as you focus on exerting your energy on character training, and it will pay off, resulting in kids that are maturer and understand how to control themselves and deal more maturely in arguments with their siblings.

5. Listen To Both Sides

Sometimes it is eye opening to stop reacting to arguments, and just listen to both sides. More often than not, you will get to see areas in both kids that you can help them work on, such as patience, pausing to listen to a sibling to obtain understanding before reacting, and not jumping to conclusions that are most likely wrong.

6. Minimize Comparisons

Sometimes a child may be acting up because they are feeling unsure of themselves, or are feeling like you have a favorite {perhaps some kids have temperaments that are easier for you to personally get along with, than others}. Take some time often to talk to each child about what you love and value in each one of them, and be careful not to directly compare one child with another. More often that not, kids are just longing to know why they matter to you; be sure to tell them often!

7. Promote Empathy

Teach each child, especially during {if possible} or after the heat of the moment, to put themselves in the other sibling’s shoes. How do you think he/she is feeling? Do you think they really meant what they said? What did you think they meant when they did or said that? How can you react different next time now that you understand your brother/sister in a better way? Teaching these small thought processes will increase EQ and promote empathy as each child learns to relate to the other child in certain arguments.

8. Have Family Meetings To Discuss Heart Issues

Have a family meeting often, where you discuss the week, certain major arguments and how everyone is feeling in their hearts. It’s a great way to discuss character issues when everyone is out of the heat of the moment, and to objectively see other’s points of views and learn for future arguments.

 

Siblings can drive each other crazy as they grow up in such close proximity in your home, but their relationships can develop beautifully if you follow a few simple steps. There are many more that can help  minimize sibling rivalry; if you have any extras, let us know what they are below, we would love to hear them!
Take a look at these positive parenting series for Raising Boys & for Raising Girls in empowering, uplifting ways!

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