I have four kids. All of which are in different seasons of life. I fell like sometimes it is a whirlwind issues according to age. One thing that never changes is that they fight. Sure there are 9 years between my oldest boy and youngest boy, but they fight ALL THE TIME. Sibling rivalry is just part of it.
I am sure that so many of you guys can relate with the woes of sibling rivalry. It can make a mom want to go crazy at times. It is literally the one thing that drives me crazy about my kids. It is just down right annoying.
Sibling rivalry is totally normal. I mean after all your siblings are who you spend the majority of your time with. Kids are going to have conflict. Things like personality differences, likes and dislikes, and even age have a lot to do with the rivals that go on among siblings. It is a battle that we as parents moms have to deal with. Here are my 6 tips for battling sibling rivalry to save your sanity.
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. As annoying and completely draining the woes of sibling rivalry are take it in stride. If it is just a little tiff don’t run and get involved. Some times in these situations kids need to work it out on their own. When your kids come up with good solutions it builds even better problem solving skills. So only rush in on those squabbles that really need adult attention.
2. Take fair out of the equation. I think sometimes as parents we strive to make things equal for each child across the board, and that is literally impossible. I think is causes us more grief int he long run. For example, bedtime is different for each of our kids. Our 18 month old goes to bed around 7:30 every night. Our 6 and 9 year old go to bed at 8:30 and the 15 year old at 10. I can not tell you how many times I have had the discussion about why bedtime is different for everyone. Talk about broken record. I then have to reiterate that priviledge and responsibility come with age.
3. Laugh about it. Sometimes humor is the best medicine. Laughing and making light of the situation tends to catch your kids of guard. I can not tell you how many times I have tried to just make light of a situation by laughing at the silliness of it all. Then the kids begin laughing and then it is like the quarrel never happened. This kind of goes hand in hand with not sweating the small stuff.
4. Teach your children to be considerate and compassion. This one can be really tough when they are small but, it is really important that you teach your kids to be compassionate toward other’s feelings. However it really pays off in the long run. When you have a war between your kids try are relate the feelings involved to each child.
5. Listen to both sides and be a mediator. When these tantrums just get totally out of control and you need to intervene it is good to approach it with an open mind, even if you think one child is being overly dramatic try and excuse it. Active listening at times is just hard to do, but do you best. Offer a middle ground and a quick resolution!
6. When it is time, say enough is enough! It is not wrong to call a timeout when the time is right. There are times when feuds have gone on all day that I just throw my hands up at trying to provide some sort of simplistic balance and I end the entire thing. This could mean opposite sides of the house or even a quick bed time. You have to maintain your sanity and sometimes the attempts at trying to resolve these tats are just too big because everyone is tired, annoyed, bored, etc. It happens!
Not all of these may work for you. Maybe just one or two. Either way siblings are around a lot longer than an friends you or your children will ever have. As parents it is so important to influence those healthy bonds among siblings that will last a lifetime. I tell my kids this all the time, because it is so true. You only have one family, friends come and go throughout your whole life!