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 Article of Interest - Parenting

Parenting On The Go: When Siblings Battle
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When siblings battle...make them a team
"She took my colored pencils and won't give them back."
"He always hides them so I can't find them."
Here you'll learn to use sibling conflict as the ideal opportunity to teach your children how to come up with their own solutions. You'll see that teaching your children it doesn't matter who is most to blame, since both are affected by the conflict and only together they can arrive at a solution that can work for both of them.

When siblings battle...Separate without blame
When siblings start to fight, it often stems from being together too much or for too long. Just like adults, children need their own space, their own special possessions, and their own time alone. This section addresses learning how to stop sibling fights without inadvertently starting the next one for them by assigning blame.

When siblings battle...Reduce competition by speaking directly
Praising one child in front of another must be carefully thought through. Some of our best intentions can be emotionally damaging to the child who now knows they're just not as good as the other child. Discussed here are ways to speak directly to a child who is doing something well, or not so well, reducing competitive resentment between siblings.

When siblings battle...Speak to differences
Treating every child exactly equally is not only impossible, it will not stop naturally occurring sibling rivalry anyway. This section talks about supporting your rules, even when they're different for children in the family.

When siblings battle...Label possessions, borrowing rules
It is not only okay to label possessions, but doing so can cut down on one of the most common sources of sibling rivalry. You will also see how to begin establishing family borrowing rules to help children share things typically fought over in your home.

When siblings battle...Keep conflict specific and non-threatening
"You're a jerk and I don't care what you say! It's your turn to feed the dog!"
When you hear conflict like this, it's hard not to step in and tell one or the other child to do the chore. But these kinds of arguments can present a perfect opportunity to teach children how to have productive conflict. To learn conflict resolution strategies that will serve them the rest of their lives.

When siblings battle...Keep the focus on friendly resolution
This section presents another technique to introduce when children are fighting to teach them how to interrupt themselves when things get a little too rough. Learning to take a break from an argument, even to laugh about something, can help everyone see the conflict from a new perspective and work toward a friendly resolution.

When siblings battle...Initiate discussion during peaceful times
"It sounds to me like you might still be angry."
Adults can learn to take opportunities during the day to take a guess at the emotions or issues occupying a child's mind. You're not asking these questions when children are still in "the heat of the moment," but at other times when a child has had time to reflect, or now seems more willing talk with you about what is going on for them.

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