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But he started it! You got sibling rivalry?

Buddy Siblings- help your children look at each other as buddies rather than competitors. One way is to create fun warm family memories! Plan family activities where your children  have to help each other out, where they learn to depend on each other and hence build good experiences together. This would then act as a buffer when they are in a conflict mode! Some examples could be playing games- kids against parents/grandparents or if as a family you pray then they could pray for each other!

Mutual Blame- when kids fight, especially out of boredom, you have to hold them both responsible. One sibling might make a hurtful remark, or hit or stick his tongue out and that is the trigger to get the other one started! I usually recommend not coming in the middle, and letting kids figure it out. However if this becomes a pattern and habit, I would say execute a ‘parental step in!’ [like our Presidents Rule, where the Capital steps in because a State cannot manage itself!] Set up a rule, that irrespective of who started it, they both face the consequence, which could be cutting back on screen time, playtime or they go bed earlier….basically anything that is important to BOTH of them. Teach them that it takes two hands to clap and it does not matter which hand started it!

Bottom line parents, in most cases, as your kids grow older the SR will reduce. Remember how you and your sister fought and now she is your best friend!

As Pamela Dugdale aptly said, Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring — quite often the hard way!’

As always, Happy Parenting!

Also Read: Sibling Harmony


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Aparna Samuel Balasundaram is a USA- Licensed Psychotherapist and Parent and Child Expert with 10 years of experience in the USA. She is the Founder of Life Skills Experts and the Life Skills 360¡ System that enables parents and teachers to raise happy, confident and successful children. Visit www.LifeSkillsExperts.com for more information. She is also the Founder of ‘A Flourishing Me’ that offers contemporary Counselling and Life Coaching [www.AFlourishing.me]. Aparna can be contacted at aparna@lifeskillsexperts.com.

4 thoughts on “But he started it! You got sibling rivalry?

  1. Aparajita Bose

    Yes, Aparna, these tricks have been working for my family too!

    With the onset of the summer vacation, I have just entrusted my two kids with the responsibility of making breakfast for themselves together (with me close by for the safety factor). Some more such tasks would follow.

    I have also told them gently that the more time they keep for arguments and fights, the less free time they get for themselves. You see, part of the day is “Do as I please” for each of them, and the other part is “Doing certain things that Mom would instruct me to do”.


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