How to Handle Sibling Rivalry

Don’t you wish your kids could at least act like they like each other??  Some days I’m most certain that my children will not even want to live on the same planet, never mind the same zip code when they’re adults.  I’ve also noticed that the sibling rivalry with its provoking and bickering doesn’t stop once they enter the tween/teen stage.  It just morphs into indifference and avoidance or full-blown volcanic eruptions.  Soooo, what’s a mom to do?  I don’t want my Thanksgiving table to be full of adult strangers in 20 yrs.  But how do we encourage true brotherly and sisterly love?  How should we handle conflict that naturally arises?

Here’s a few things we try when ugliness sets in:

1.  We don’t accept meanness as “normal.”  We tell our kids that others may, but they may not.

2.  We try to be proactive and discuss acceptable behavior when we’re not in the middle of an episode.

3.  We remind them that home is their bootcamp for life…they will always have people who are a challenge to love, so learn to deal with it while at home with family who will always love them.

It’s always been my heart’s desire for our children to love each other and genuinely care about one another, but that doesn’t always seem the reality on a daily basis.  Growing up, my older brother and I were allowed and even expected to fight and argue and little was done to intervene.  The result was unresolved anger and bitterness.  No surprise I was ecstatic when he announced he was moving out after high school.  Over the years and a lot more growing up as an adult, I’ve learned that too much time was wasted.  Now, thousands of miles between us is not a friend, it’s our enemy.  I don’t want my children to live with similar regrets.  I want them to make the most of their time together now, because they’ll never get it back.

So, how does your family handle the sibling rivalry?  Any great tips are appreciated and welcomed!  Or, feel free to share your struggles….this is a challenge all families face.  Someone will have some words of wisdom to share!

 

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