Sibling rivalry isn’t a thing at our house.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m even writing this post, to be honest.
I’m totally messing with you. My kids fight all the freakin’ time. Often our days start off like this:
SISTER A: “Good morning, sis.”
SISTER B: “WHY DO YOU ALWAYS DO THAT TO ME? UGH! DON’T TALK TO ME.”
It continues on from there. It’s exhausting for me, so I can only imagine how tiring it is for them. I’ve tried begging and pleading with them to stop. I’ve explained negative energy. I’ve mocked them. I’ve gotten my own sister to help me role-play a fighting and making up scenario. I’ve bribed them.
I get it. They’re kids. They’re also siblings. There’s going to be sibling rivalry. However, it would be nice if there was a little bit of peace in the household. Just for a while. Especially before I’ve had a cup of coffee (for everyone’s sake-seriously).
I turned to the good ol‘ Facebook Mom groups for some advice, and this is what was suggested:
Tips to stop sibling rivalry
Get along t-shirt
Basically, this is an extra-large shirt that you put both children in until they stop fighting. It certainly promotes closeness. Literally.
Have them sit together holding hands
Once they’ve stopped fighting they need to say one nice thing to the other. This will help them focus on the positive aspects of the other person.
Fill a jar with activity ideas. Some will be fun. Some will not. They all will be things that they have to do together: wash floors, do a puzzle, do the weeding, make each other a snack. These things require working together positively. If that is not accomplished they lose a privilege for a week-or another consequence.
Let them duke it out
Tune it out, Mom. Unless the fighting starts to get physical let them try and sort it out for themselves. They may come to some conclusions on their own. Try and let them figure out what works for them and what doesn’t.
Talk to them about sibling rivalry
Okay, yes. This makes sense. This would be your logical first step. Explain to them how destructive their fighting is to each other and the rest of the family. Guide them through practical and effective strategies for dealing with situations they may find themselves in. Assist them through a particular situation to model what a dispute should look like. (I really hope you like talking…because you’re going to be repeating yourself a lot on this one.)
Give them individual tasks in different areas of the house. After a while, they’ll realize that they miss one another and will want to spend time with the other person.
Get them outside
Okay, hippy-dippy time. Nature is your healer. Fresh air will recharge them (and you) and put everyone in a better mood. Go worm searching. Dig a hole. Studies have shown the immense benefit on a person’s mind when they go outside. It will make everyone a little calmer and perhaps dissipate the tension that’s building in the house.
Find something to do outside that will distract them from fighting while they reap the benefits of the outdoors.
Be a good example
I’m going to go ahead and throw this in here: I’m super lucky. I have an AMAZING sister who I can count on to be there for me. I love her so much and I know that’s reciprocal.
It hasn’t always been like that, though. I’m pretty sure our poor Mom was pulling her hair out with our fighting the same way I pull my hair out with my kids fighting. However, now we model behavior in front of my kids that show a positive relationship. We discuss how Auntie and Mommy didn’t always get along, but now that we’re older we appreciate each other. I remind them that their sister will one day be their very best friend-just like mine is my best friend- whether they believe it or not.
If you don’t have a sibling or you don’t have a positive relationship with your sibling find someone to model what a positive relationship looks like. It could be your sister from another mister that you show your kids the importance of being respectful and communicating effectively in a relationship.
So, there you have it. These suggestions from dozens of moms may help put an end to the sibling fighting you’re experiencing.
Can you add to the list of ways to curb sibling fighting? I’d love to hear in the comments below!