All siblings fight at times; that is normal! However, when the fighting never stops, you have to find some ways to cool the flames.
My husband grew up an only child. As our first two children started to fight, he was sure that something was wrong with them. These kids must be defective because they always fight! I was quick to explain that some sibling fighting is normal. Fact is, we all get irritated with each other at times.
However, no one wants to hear fighting from sun up to sun down. There are gentle ways to cool the flames of sibling rivalry and fighting. Here are my best tips that we use to help our three kids get along.
1. Encourage Teamwork
One of my favorite tips I learned from a friend was that children are less likely to fight when they are focused on a common goal. Kids love projects! I try to plan at least one craft day each week, perfect for homeschooling families. However, you can try cooking recipes, cleaning projects, creating a fort or club house, and more! Your goal is to unify your children towards one goal.
2. Compromising Isn’t Losing
One thing that we try to show our kids is that compromising doesn’t mean you have to lose. Compromising means that everyone wins in some way. Sure, there are times when someone DOES have to lose, but plenty of times it can be a win-win.
Compromising happens on a daily basis. Perhaps your oldest wants to watch a certain TV show, but her youngest sibling disagrees. They might be able to find a movie they love together. One child might want to play trains and one wants to play dolls. Those trains can drive the dolls around!
3. Mediate, but Don’t Solve
Our job as their parents is not to solve all of their problems. There will be plenty of times in life when they will need to know how to mediate problems with other people. It is tempting to offer answers, but kids have to learn how to settle disagreements.
Related: The Gift of Siblings
It can be tricky! You can help your child explain to his older sibling his feelings. You can help your child identify what he is feeling so later he can do it himself. This goes both ways; help each child explain his side of the argument. You can even prompt ideas such as “how can we solve this problem,” but allow those kids to figure it out!
4. Encourage Thoughtfulness towards Siblings
Teaching your kids to think about each other is important and a great way to build their relationship. You might know that your oldest doesn’t feel good. Encourage his younger sibling to do something that would make him feel better.
When you go to the store, he might see something his sister would love. The possibilities are endless, so let your kids be creative with their kind gestures!
For inspiration and ideas, I suggest you take a peek at Siblings Without Rivalry. It is full of great ideas!