Defusing Sibling Rivalry
Sibling quibbling – it’s inevitable if you have more than one child. While you may not be able to completely eradicate it, you can defuse it to the point that World War III becomes more like a high school wrestling match.
First, you have to understand that sibling rivalry is usually a contest to see who Mom’s favorite kid of the day is. Score is kept. The argument isn’t about who got more Kool-Aid – it’s about who you will choose to side with.
The first rule of a peaceful home is this – don’t rule in anyone’s favor if you can help it. Once you do you have given the perceived power to the child who got your favor, creating a need for the other child to win your favor at some future date. You have guaranteed another altercation.
Ignore it if at all possible. Leave the room or the house – whatever it takes to stay out of it. If you can’t leave the house, tell the kids to take it to the backyard because you don’t want to hear it. This is especially effective during thunderstorms and blizzards.
Take the reason for fighting away. If they are fighting over who got the biggest piece of cake, merely remove both plates of cake from the table. A couple instances of missed dessert will usually ensure that certain items will be on the cease fire list.
Require that everyone honors everyone else’s space. A young child that breaks big brother’s Lego creations is wrong. Period. Siding with the younger one to avoid a scene is unfair and will create big issues later on.
Create together time. I used to tie the two warriors together and have them accomplish a chore. Being attached at wrist and ankle meant that they had to cooperate in order to finish. Not cooperating just made the whole thing last longer.
What are your tips for diffusing sibling rivalry?