Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tips for Dealing with Sibling Rivalry

Let's face it, if you have more than one child you're sure to deal with your share of sibling rivalry. It can seem like a never ending battle as we are thrown into the middle of our children's' disagreements. Some days our title may as well be referee instead of mom. Did you know there are correct ways to deal with sibling rivalry? If you don't handle the situation correctly you can actually be encouraging the situation instead of resolving it.

See the Situation for What It Is
We often hear our children fighting and end up walking in on the middle of the disagreement. This can cause us to not see the full picture and be too quick to judge the situation. When dealing with sibling rivalry it's vital we see the situation for what it really is. It's important to take a minute to fully evaluate the situation and listen to both children to fully understand what was going on before reacting. By taking the time to do this, you'll ensure both children are being treated equally and you aren't making any rush judgments about the situation.

Listen to the Children
Make sure you actually listen to what your children are saying during the disagreement. Don't just hear your children, but actually listen to what they are saying and how they are feeling. It's important for both children to fully express themselves during a disagreement. Each child's feelings need to be acknowledged to help smoothly resolve the situation.

Follow the Rules
Despite the reason for fighting and what occurred during the fight, were the rules followed? Each child needs to be accountable for any broken rules that may have taken place. No child should get off the hook because one child broke a more severe rule than the other. Maybe one child didn't share so the second child took it upon himself to hit the first child. It's important to remember the child that did the hitting isn't the only one that broke a rule. The first child broke a rule first by not sharing. Each of these actions needs to be recognized and taken into account within the situation.

Don't Just get in the Middle
When your children fight, you can't just act as a referee. You can't just say "stop fighting" and have that be the end of it. If you make this a habit the fighting will continue and your children won't learn how to resolve the situation themselves. This means you will have to come running every time there is a disagreement. To deal with this, ask your children questions such as:

What are you two fighting about?

Why did you do that?

What should you have done?

How can we make this situation better?

By taking a minute to allow your children to answer these questions, they will learn how to handle their sibling rivalry without your assistance.

While sibling rivalry will always be there, there are certain things you can do to decrease the occurrences. These tips will allow your children to better handle cases of sibling rivalry and in return you can take off the referee uniform.

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