Finding out a new family member can be difficult for children, even for those who ask their parents for more siblings. All the normal rules and habits of the home change with the arrival of an infant. Unfortunately, these changes can sometimes lead to quarrels between siblings.
Children have endless reasons to torment their siblings. There are very many situations that can start an argument, from having to share parents’ time and love, to having to share their toys and bedrooms with each other. It does not matter if there is a big or small difference in the age of the children: there will almost always be quarrels.
That is when we must take on the role of parents, mediators and judges. It’s not going to be easy, but you need to make your children understand that siblings are ideal friends, not enemies.
Argument between siblings
It is common for children to quarrel. After all, it’s the way they demonstrate their personality and role in the family.
A kind of “animal territory” instinct develops in children who shout, insult or disagree with everything the siblings say. This is a way to get the attention of the “herd”, namely the family.
Arguing between siblings is, as mentioned, common. That’s how it is. However, it is our job to set boundaries so that children know that there needs to be harmony in the family. In addition, this will help them develop into well-balanced adults.
To do this, keep these recommendations in mind.
1. Respect is the first limit
Teach your children that respect cannot be negotiated. It must be the most important value in the family, and especially among siblings.
Under no circumstances should they be disrespectful to each other by using offensive words towards the other person, their characteristics, or their physical condition. Naturally, they must never reach the point where they use violence.
The moment you stop a sibling quarrel, you need to make it clear how important respect is. Be determined. Children need to understand that respect is important, and they cannot cross that line, no matter how angry they are with their sister or bridge.
2. Encourage reflection and apologize
When intervening in quarrels between siblings, you need to make them understand what they were doing. To do this, get them to reflect on what happened. In addition to finding out what caused the quarrel, try to create an emotional connection between them.
If they are arguing over a toy, show them how important it is to share. Then they should apologize and ask for forgiveness, no matter how great the insult. No quarrel should be so great that siblings are unable to forgive each other afterwards.
Give them the chance to solve the problem themselves
It is important that you give your children the tools they need to resolve conflicts. In this case, it is even more important that your children know how to solve problems with each other, especially without violence.
Dialogue and negotiation are the best ways to resolve their differences. If the situation goes beyond this point, before they start attacking each other, they should ask you or another adult they trust for help.
4. Teach them to empathize with each other
When reflecting, it is important to teach your children empathy, or the act of “putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.” It is crucial that they understand their sister or brother’s position, what they felt, and what affected them. This is the best way to avoid future quarrels.
An important question you should ask them is, “How would it feel if your brother / sister did this to you?” This exercise will have a positive impact on many of the future aspects of children’s lives.
5. Create family places to avoid quarrels between siblings
Another useful tool for dealing with quarrels between siblings is to create a place for recreation and family time together. This will allow your children to rest, get together and spend time with their parents and each other.
However, you may encounter some adversity and some arguments to begin with. If this happens, separate the children for a while and talk to each of them until they have calmed down.
6. Be patient, patient, and even more patient
To live happily with your children, make sure you stay calm and patient when you have to face situations that arise. There will definitely be moments when you feel completely exhausted, when you wonder if you are a good enough parent, or even when you feel depressed.
Either way, keep your head cool. Everything will pass, and everything will go well. When you feel you have completely lost patience, dig deeper to find more. You can do it!
However, if the confrontations start to get too much for you, do not hesitate to take a trip to a psychologist.
Parents are the key to dealing with quarrels between siblings
To create a healthy relationship between children and parents, one must dedicate the same amount of love, attention and time to each child. It is very important that you do not discriminate between them.
All children are equal in one specific thing: The parents are the center of their world. As a parent, you need to understand this. You can not think in such a way that since one child is older than the other, he should stop expecting as much love and attention as he received when he was younger.
Some things to think about in the end…
Quarreling with siblings is common, to some extent. After all:
- They are a mechanism that children use to mark their place in the family.
- They help children develop their personality.
- They help children learn to identify and control their emotions.
- They strengthen their self-esteem.
… At least as long as their parents limit their quarrels.
Can it be tiring?
However, the right guidance will help your children find the best way to resolve their conflicts. All of us who have siblings know how important this is. As adults, we may even think back on some quarrels we had with our siblings and laugh at them.
Now it’s your turn to teach your children to appreciate the extraordinary blessing of having siblings.