When Siblings Don’t See Eye-To-Eye
Pouting and other problems. How to get the kids to get along.
Sibling rivalry is real. Kids aren’t always going to be “besties,” especially if they’re related. One minute, they’re hugging and having fun. Turn around, and they’re tearing each other’s hair out. As a parent, you want your kids to be close, love one another unconditionally, and have each other’s backs no matter the circumstance.
Then things get less-than loving. They scream and shout, steal each other’s toys, play the “blame game,” and say hurtful things that are hard to forget. Will they make up? Sure. But why all the “mess” just to get there?
Face it moms and dads. Your kids are going to have their battles. They’ll break down and be “bad.” It’s all part of the sibling experience, and they’ll have to sort it out. But you can help move things along to a happier place by parenting effectively. Give them tools to take into consideration before lashing out. Teach them about talking things through or coming to you instead. Respect their differences, but don’t allow arguing that’s ineffective. Lead by example, even from an early age. When little ones see problem-solving skills that actually work, they’ll be more inclined to follow suit.
Don’t expect things to be perfect. Kids need to go through these experiences to learn and grow. It may even be smart to let them “stew” in their own sibling rivalry to see how they navigate their way out. We can’t hand everything to them on a silver platter, but we can steer them in the right direction.
Bullying is never acceptable, but a little back-and-forth teasing and “testing the waters” is natural, and probably beneficial. Kids need to learn boundaries, but if you draw the lines too obviously, they’ll never understand how to do it themselves.
When you had just one child, things were a lot more peaceful, but maybe not as interesting. Playtime got wilder and the household became rowdier. It’s all part of the fun, even when there’s a little fighting. But when the kids kiss and make up, it’s every parent’s dream come true. Seeing how much they admire one another is priceless. They may even grow closer after realizing the fights are not as much fun as they’d expected.
Do your kids get along or is sibling rivalry running the show?
How do you get your kids to get along?
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By: Melissa A. Kay