Siblings bickering and arguing can be frustrating and mentally exhausting for parents. Although disagreements between siblings may drive parents crazy, it teaches our kids how to deal with and resolve conflict at an early age. This will, in turn, help them handle conflicts in relationships outside of their immediate family as they become adults. Nevertheless, when it seems like your children can’t get along even for a minute, then you can try these tips:
Look after each child’s needs
Children feel valued if you make it clear that it’s not okay for younger children to mess up older children’s activities, and vice versa. Also, take time out to bond individually with each child, and, most importantly, try not to compare children with each other.
Praise their good behaviour
Notice and give positive feedback to your kids when they’re well behaved. When you tell children clearly and specifically what they’re doing well, you’re likely to see more of that behaviour.
Show children how to get along
You are your children’s number one role model. Your children will notice if you iron out differences without fighting. If you would like your children to figure things out calmly and respectfully, they have to see you doing this. If you would like them to be ready to apologize to others, they have to see you apologising too.
Coach your children
You are your children’s problem-solving coach. You should teach them the way to handle disagreements and guide them toward skills for managing angry feelings, negotiating, and playing fair. This is much better than having to step in when they’re brewing or even worse, being a referee who breaks up fights.
You can also try these tips whenever they start fighting:
Whenever you notice your kids fighting, call them to sit together and hold hands till they solve their issues. Before you know it, they’ll laugh and forget that they were fighting.
The idea is that you simply have an extra-large men’s t-shirt that the kids must wear together until they stop bickering. Older kids can even be made to do chores while crammed within the t-shirt together. While the shirt is on, speak to them about how things work better once they agree to work together (trust me, if they need to try to do anything while wearing one shirt, they have no choice but to work together.)
Think of about a dozen chores. Write them on small strips of paper. Laminate them or cover with tape so that it can’t get mangled. Explain to your kids that each time a fight breaks out they all have to pick a job out from the job bottle. They don’t get to choose, they only grab one. When the squabbling starts, just calmly say, “job bottle.”
Hug it out
One time, I made my kids hug and told them they had to continue to hug each other until they stopped being mad at one another. I found them laughing at their situation because they were physically locked together. After that, ‘I love you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ would follow.
Give them a problem to solve together
You can try giving your kids a puzzle to solve together to stop them from arguing. When they finish that, give them a harder one. Solving puzzles together encourages them to get along, rely on each other, and help one another.
Finally, it may help to remember that a certain amount of bickering and fighting is normal and even healthy in your children’s relationships with each other. Try some of these ideas and see if one works for you.
Remember, consistency is key. When you find a solution that works for your kids, continue with it. I’m confident that you’ll see a marked improvement in how your children get along.
Do you have any tips to ensure your kids get along? Feel free to share.