Does it seem like your children’s bickering has reached an all-time high?
First, you should know this is completely natural. It’s normal for children to have periods where they get along and periods where they can’t be in the same room. Sibling rivalry is a real thing.
But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless.
Here are 6 tips to help you help your children get along better.
1. Encourage separation
When your kids are going through a spell where they can’t seem to get along, encourage them to separate. This may seem like a simplistic answer, but space can help your kids appreciate their time together.
2. Engage in team building activities
If you’ve ever been on a corporate retreat, you’ve probably engaged in team building activities. These could include things like trust falls, group puzzles, or anything that encourages people to work together for a common goal.
When your kids are working together, there are more likely to get along. To up the ante a bit, organize an activity where the kids are playing against the adults.
3. Stay out of arguments
It’s easy to get sucked into the drama of an argument, but resist the urge. Your kids need to learn how to battle it out for themselves. Getting involved could put you in a position where you’re deciding to punish one child or another. And especially when you were not present for the entire dispute, this can be very dangerous. Whenever possible, stay out of it.
4. Avoid comparisons
When one child isn’t acting right, it’s tempting to compare his behavior with the siblings. What can’t you be more like your brother? But these types of questions and comparisons can cause a rift between you and the child. They can also increase animosity among siblings. Instead, praise each child for things they do well and correct behavior whenever necessary.
5. Encourage healthy communication
Set clear ground rules for your children. Each child should understand how you expect them to communicate with one another. This can help avoid things like name calling and saying hurtful things. These things will still happen, but with some luck, not as much.
6. Lead by example
You cannot expect your children to communicate well when you’re not doing the same. This is important to remember in your communications with them and with others. Show them what it’s like to resolve conflict in a healthy and productive manner. They should see this whenever there’s a conflict with a spouse a friend or anyone else in your life. And if there are issues within the family, understand that they will impact the children. In the case of substance abuse, remember that you can involve everyone with a family intervention.
Even though sibling rivalry is completely natural, it doesn’t have to take over your life. Try these 6 tips to help your kids get along better and to have more peace in your home.