No good parent enjoys hearing the sound of their children bickering with each other. When children fight it is sad for parents because obviously they want for their children to get along with each other and love each other as they (parents) love them. Keeping the peace by controlling sibling rivalries is easier said than done. However it is possible. You can keep the peace between siblings in your home but it is going to take some effort on your part. Parents have the responsibility to teach children how to deal with their negative feelings of anger or frustration in appropriate ways, rather than to simply let out how they are feeling on their siblings. Here are just a few suggestions of things that you can do to keep the peace by controlling sibling rivalries:
Teach the golden rule – Empathy is one of the most important attributes that we need to develop as human beings. Therefore it is our responsibility as parents to teach our children what empathy is and to live a life that exemplifies that empathy. The golden rule states that you should “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” Teaching your children how to put themselves in their sibling’s shoes will change the way that they view the arguments that they have and will hopefully change their minds about wanting to pick a fight in the first place.
Let your children resolve some of their own conflicts – Parents who intervene with each and every one of their children’s little squabbles are not only going to drive themselves crazy, but doing so robs your children of the ability to learn from past experiences. How are you to know that your child can handle a conflict on their own if they are never given the chance? Now this is not to say that you as a parent should just sit back and let whatever happens happen. Rather pick your battles. There will be some times when you will have to step in and other times when after the argument is over you can take each child aside separately and talk about how they handled the situation. This is often a better way of teaching rather than trying to force a lesson on your children when they are in the heat of their argument.
Children are created equally but do not always need to be treated equally – Siblings have a knack for finding inequalities. Maybe two sisters fight over one sweater or brothers argue over who gets to use the new basketball first. There are all sorts of events that will take place that will make one sibling seem like the lucky one over their siblings. This is just a fact of life. Children at different ages will have different privileges. Children who show good performance in school will be rewarded while poor performance is not rewarded. When you do something for one child, it does not need to then be evenly distributed to all of the other children. Instead seek to be just in your decision making and to try to have a reasonable explanation, for example, why one sibling got a new pair of shoes and why another did not. Emphasize the positive aspects of being different. This way your children have a reason to look forward to growing up or improving in school. Rather than feelings of resentment because their sibling got something that they didn’t.
Emphasize the importance and fun of having siblings – Even siblings with rivalries will have their good moments when they can enjoy each other’s company. Bring these moments to your child’s attention when they are feeling angry towards their sibling. Remind them that families have to stick together and that even though sometimes people make mistakes or get mad, you will still always be a family.