Parenting Strategies: Solving Sibling Squabbling
If you are sick of your children fighting with each other, you are not alone. According to the University of Michigan, sibling squabbles are a concern for most parents of more than one child. Here are some ideas on how to positively manage sibling rivalry and other common issues:
Avoid comparisons and labels. Every person has their own strengths and weaknesses. Comparing two children can create jealousy, increase unkind behavior, encourage unhealthy competition and damage self-esteem. Work to point out the positive and unique qualities of each child.
Involve kids in creating rules. As a family, create ground rules for behavior. When everyone contributes ideas, it can help increase cooperation.
Spend time with each child. Children may fight because they feel their relationship and time with a parent is threatened by the other. Spending special time with each child can help each feel that they are getting enough attention.
Catch them being good. When siblings play well together or work as a team, notice! When they are peaceful and cooperative for a longer period of time, identify, praise and reward the behavior with a special treat.
Avoid being the judge. If children are in conflict, avoid being the judge in their dispute. Ask each to state how they feel, and facilitate their speaking to each other about how to resolve conflicts.