Diplomatic Ways to Deal With Sibling Rivalry

“He took my toy!” “No, she said she’s done playing with that.” “ No, mama”

Sounds like a familiar scenario? At homes with larger families, sibling fights can be common. Often, they cleverly drag parents into their arguments and try getting you to pick a side! It may be playful most of the time, but your children need a referee to make sure things don’t get out of hand. 

Here are some steps you can take in dealing with sibling rivalry in a fair manner.

1. Listen 

Clear communication might be the solution. When you patiently probe into the real cause of the disagreement, you may discover surprising details about your children. As you listen, you may even be able to make them realise that there is no cause at all. With no real cause for a tiff, the rivalry would not even exist. 

2. Give Clear Messages

Tell your children what is expected of them before an issue arises. Sometimes, it’s worth giving them police-like warnings so that they don’t even think of getting into a fight with each other. Interfere only when needed.

3. Don’t Pick a Side

Usually, parents punish the child who is older or the one who reacts first without finding out how long the other child had been putting up with taunts. Parents should be careful in judging the situation and intervene only once you’ve heard both sides of the story.

4. Take Turns

Parents can create a system at home to give fair chances to their children to enjoy their privileges. For example, let children take turns to push the lift button, choose their favourite mall to go to, or sleep with the cuddle toy of their choice. 

5. Use Humor

When parents wrap up a situation with humor, children will be taken by surprise as to how insensitive their actions were to each other. They forget the severity of the incident and may see why their behavior was problematic.