Any home that has more than one child is prone to sibling conflicts. Siblings argue over different things, and some are minor. For example, both siblings may want to use a particular cup or sit in a specific chair, or one may feel that the other is their parent’s favorites. The list is endless. However, there are tips you can apply to help you handle fighting siblings. Here are our tips from our own experiences in our daycare in Kenosha, WI:
Find Out Why They’re Fighting
There has to be something that siblings fight about. They may be fighting over who is supposed to clean the house or which TV program to watch. Sometimes, they may have clashing personalities, or they may be competing for something. Once you know where the problem lies, you will be one step towards resolving it.
Teach Children to Handle Conflict
Children are bound to disagree. The important thing is to know how to handle the disagreements to minimize fighting. For example, you can tell them that need to listen to their sibling’s point of view and not only think about themselves. Name calling is also not allowed. When you instill this in them, they will be able to solve problems amongst themselves. Besides that, they will turn into adults who are great at maintaining relationships with people and who know how to resolve conflicts amicably.
Encourage Them to Work Together
Human beings are competitive, and we start competing for things from the time we are young. Competition is usually accompanied by having a winner. Therefore, an effective way of eliminating or reducing the conflicts is to take competition out of the equation. You can do this by encouraging them to work together. They will then appreciate each other more and not feel the need to fight so much.
Avoid Taking a Side
One of the main reason for sibling conflicts is usually their parents’ approval and love. One sibling may feel like their other sibling is their parent’s favorite and this may make them feel resentment towards them. If you take the side of that sibling, then it will just confirm whom you love more, and this will cause more conflicts. If siblings get into a fight, you need to remain neutral because each of them played a role towards the conflict. Instead, tell them to talk it out and find a solution together. Praise them when they do. They will learn to solve problems on their own.
Know When to Intervene
It is essential to let fighting siblings sort out their issues themselves because you may not present for every single one of their fights and they need to know how to resolve conflicts on their own. However, sometimes the fights escalate, and it becomes crucial for an adult to step in. You need to know when to be involved and this is usually when the fight becomes physical. If one of them squeezes the other one’s arm, you may let them carry on to give a chance to agree. If a sibling punches the other one in the face then you know it’s time to shut it down. Stop the fight and let them try to resolve their disagreement when they are calm.