Sibling rivalry

If you have more than one child, you have undoubtedly experienced sibling rivalry. How you respond to your children’s fights will affect the intensity and duration of those fights.

When kids can get you involved in their fights, the emotional stakes increase as each child would like you to take their side. If you do take a side, that child feels vindicated while the other child feels rejected. This will encourage more fighting in the future as the losing child aims to get even.

If you’re not afraid of your children really hurting each other, than the best approach is to let them work it out on their own. The less attention you give their fighting, the sooner it will end. If their fighting is bothering you, you can ask them to take it outside or to the garage – an uncomfortable location will shorten the fight!

Another approach is to remove yourself by doing something like going outside to work in the garden. By avoiding becoming involved in their fights, you also avoid adding fuel to the fire!

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