When trust and respect grow together, siblings become bonded for life.
How to Get Siblings to Get Along — Quick Overview
Appreciate Each Other
See Each Child as an Individual
Limit the Stress in the Home
Practice Conflict Resolution
Encourage Forgiveness and Bonding
We’ve all done it, and now your kids are doing it. You find yourself asking the age-old question — how do you get siblings to get along?
Conflict means there’s a difference of opinion or a competition of some sort in the making. You recognize that there’s a problem, yet you desire for there to be close relationship. Learning how to dissipate the ugly mess before resentment settles in is essential in evading sibling rivalry.
That’s why I have come up with a few ways to get siblings to get along with each other.
Teach your kids to respect you, each other, and themselves.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for kids to learn what respect is from a very young age. The habits they form in the first few years of their lives tend to stick with them. It is much easier to train a child to be kind and caring than to un-train habitual disrespect.
First of all, your child needs to learn to respect you as the parent. This will train them to also respect older people and authority figures in corporate or social settings. Secondly, they must learn that siblings and peers need to be respected as well. Giving an older sibling space is a prime example of showing respect. Thirdly, each child needs to learn to respect themselves. Let’s say a sibling yells at them. Although there are ways to deal with the problem respectfully, they do not need to accept that kind of behaviour. They need to learn that they themselves are highly valuable.
As your kids learn to respect themselves, they will automatically respect others. They will see their siblings as people they deeply care about.
Show your kids how to understand differences.
It’s no wonder that so much conflict arises among siblings. There are countless differences ranging from age and gender to personalities and interests. As your children learn to respect the differences in each other, the quarrelling is bound to subside.
Recognizing and understanding that each sibling has their own unique approach to life is one way to prepare your kids not only for a more peaceful play time at home but also for a civil outlook on different world views.
Differences in age has its pros and cons. The younger sibling can aggravate the older by mimicking their every move; meanwhile, the older can hold a deep sense of responsibility to protect the younger child.
Personalities will definitely come out in your kids dealing with life differently from each other. One will need hugs and the other will need privacy and space. One will be authoritative and the other sporadicly random.
If your child can learn that different isn’t bad or weird, you will be able to win at least one battle in the sibling war.
Appreciate each other.
There are many ways to show appreciation for another. In the sibling world, it’s ever so important that they learn from very young to speak words of affirmation and praise to each other. It’s hard to congratulate a rival team. If you can get your kids to play on the “same team,” you will be able to teach them to get along.
Teach your child to say, “Good Job!”
As the kids see and acknowledge the good in the other, they build a positive, non-threatening environment. They are bound to get along because they aren’t needing to live in a hostile defence mode all the time.
Along with speaking kind words, siblings can show appreciation by showing support in the other child’s interests such as sports competitions or music recitals. Rather than constantly trying to be better than the other sibling, your child will learn to appreciate the skills in each other.
Again, as your kids value each other, they are bound to get along more often than not.
See each child as an individual.
The tendency is to lump your kids together in one pot or to compare your children to the others. Often when the louder one speaks, he speaks for all of them. The quiet one feels he has to live up to his role of being the good one. Without you knowing it, you fuel the resentment among your kids as you compare and label your kids.
The truth is that each child is unique. Comparison will never give you the long-term results you look for. Each child needs to know that you appreciate his unique gift to the world. The strengths or weaknesses should not label your child’s character nor potential.
As you see each child as an individual, they will feel understood. They will learn from you that the blame game isn’t part of your home and they will learn the other doesn’t need to be resented.
Limit the stress in the home.
In today’s fast-paced society, our kids can feel as though they are stuck in a continuous hurricane of events. As the stress levels rise, the arguing and quarrelling escalades. If a home is in a constant rushing state, the children will learn to deal with life defensively.
Very often kids fight because they lack attention from their parents. If you can take 15 to 20 minutes out of your busy schedule to spend quality one-on-one time with each child individually, you will communicate to them that they don’t need to fight for your attention and you will fill their love tanks.
Watching your tone of voice as you talk to your kids, your spouse, or even your friends on the phone can play a big role in setting up the home for less stress.
Make sure your kids get enough sleep. Tired minds can’t handle conflict and problem-solving well. Even as adults, we let unkind words fly much more easily when we are exhausted from a long day of work. When your kids get proper rest, they have the mental capacity to reason and play well if they so choose.
You can’t erase all stress from life, but there are stressors you can control. Find out what works for your home and work toward creating an environment in which your kids feel safe, secure, and understood.
Practice conflict resolution in your home.
When problems arise, it’s so tempting to quickly blame the most mischievous one or even sweep the issues under the carpet. History tells us that neither method solves anything but makes the problem worse in the long run.
Facing the problem is the first step in conflict resolution. Acknowledging that there is disappointment or anger will make the child feel heard. Avoid blaming or name calling.
Step two is to work out the conflict. Let’s have a look at the following scenario.
A child is sitting on the floor and his sibling approaches and yanks the toy from him. He screams with great distress. To him, it’s the end of his world.
You can train your kids to use different conflict resolution techniques. Communication is key in conflict resolution. In this situation, you can teach him to tell an adult what has happened. This trains him to go for help when he is in trouble rather than blindly trying to figure out life on his own. If the kids are older, you can teach them to talk about the problem respectfully.
In any case, if you as the parent approach the crisis with the mindset that there’s always a solution, your kids will learn over time that they can dissolve their disagreements together.
Encourage your kids to forgive each other and bond.
Along with Please, Thank-you, I love you, and I’m sorry, every home should practice the words, “I forgive you!”
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that the other person has not wronged you, but it releases you from the binds of resentment. As your kids learn how to forgive, they learn to give up grudges against others who have wronged them. They learn to move on in life rather than stay stuck with hatred and bitterness. (10 Ways to Teach Your Children How to Forgive )
If your kids can see the other sibling isn’t as bad as they thought, they can actually begin to see the good in them. As they grow in respect toward the other’s boundaries, they will gain trust with each other.
When trust and respect grow together, siblings become bonded for life.
Conflict with proper guidance creates tenacious relationship builders.
The principles you teach your children as they learn problem solving in your home prepare them for their future relationships. It so vitally important for our kids to be properly guided in conflict resolution and respect; kids become adults.
Your consistency in intentional training is bound to be rewarded as your kids learn to develop close relationships with you and each other.
Don’t be afraid to step in and be the parent. Use your authority with grace and wisdom. Your kids believe you are their hero and long for your attention. Give freely without holding back.
Have you gained inspiration from these tips? Have you been able to grasp some sort of hope to keep on holding up the storms in your home? If yes, be sure to leave a comment and click the share button.