If you have more than one child, you know that sibling rivalry is a fact of life.
And you probably have one question begging to be answered — how to stop all the fighting and raise them to be friends for life?
Here we go then.
Based on Dr. Laura Markham’s awesome new book Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life, I’ve put together a quick and easy-to-grasp visual guide for effectively dealing with sibling rivalry — just the thing for busy parents sick and tired of being referees. 🙂
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Your kids may play well most of the time and get in fights only once in a while. Or they may be at each other’s throats all the time.
They may gently spar and snipe. Or they may lash out with blows, claws and teeth.
They may lightly rib each other. Or be outright hurtful.
One way or the other, if you have more than one child, sibling rivalry is inevitable.
There are many factors that influence sibling rivalry that are outside our control – like the the temperament of the kids, the spacing between them, birth order and their gender. Outside of these, the most important factor that determines how sibling rivalry plays out is us – the parents – and we can potentially numb the effects of those elements outside our control.
By creating a nurturing environment and a deep connection with each child, we can give them the confidence that they are loved no matter what, thus reducing the need to compete for our attention.
By shunning the traditional discipline methods of harsh punishment and replacing it with gentle guidance, we can model for them how they can handle conflicts without harshness and fighting.
By being proactive in creating a stress-free household where we actively seek to cooperate and solve problems instead of trying to fix blame, we can make it unnecessary for them to point fingers and rally against each other.
By respecting each of our kids and their unique individuality, we can teach them how to respect each other.
By committing to intentionally cultivating warm sibling relationships, we can deal with sibling rivalry effectively, stop the fighting and raise kids who will be friends for life.