No matter how nice your children are playing together, there will be times where there might be screaming, crying, hitting, and more! You will be asking yourself, “Why can’t my children just get
along?” Do not fret, you are not alone.
Since you cannot stop the rivalry fights entirely; all you can try is to manage the number of conflicts. New Horizon Academy has experienced this rivalry, and we know how challenging it is for parents, which is why we have provided tips to help you cope.
Fight for Parents Attention
One of the main reasons siblings fight is to gain their parents’ attention, whether positive or negative. Plan on giving each child at least 10-15 minutes of attention every day without disruption. Turn off the TV, ignore your phone, and avoid answering back an email. Your child is the center of your attention for this time, and you must be fully present. Your child will benefit knowing you were fully committed to them.
Stay Out of It
This may come as a surprise, but the best thing you can do when a disagreement starts is to ignore it. That’s right; pretend you did not see nor hear anything, and walk away. Do not give the fight any attention. Ignoring will prevent rewarded negative behavior and provide your children with a chance to resolve the issue independently. If the dispute escalates and turns physical, and if you feel like intervening is necessary, please do.
If the kids cannot reach an agreement, you may have to step in to assist with the resolution. Whatever you do, do not take sides. You might think you heard or saw how everything went down, and you may be correct, but do not place any judgment on either child. Once everyone is calm, listen to each child’s version of what happened. Without placing blame or taking sides, ask them both to come up with a solution. If necessary, you can suggest a few yourself and help them reach an agreement.
Do Not Take Sides
If after interfering in the fight, hearing both sides, and attempting to find a solution, your kids still cannot agree, then everyone involved in the argument should be given the same consequence.
There will likely be some complaining and negotiating, but your kids will quickly realize it is in their best interest to agree on a solution together.
Remember that this parenting resolution is an advanced skill set and takes practice. With these practices in place, you will keep sibling rivalry and fighting to a minimum.