Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Sibling rivalry gotcha down?

Great advice from our friends over at the National Fatherhood Initiative:

Keep the Peace

Need to save your sanity and keep your kids from causing bodily harm to one another? We've got simple tips to help you ease sibling tension and keep the peace.

Consider Age. Smaller children will need you to step in and help them handle their conflict, but don't be so quick to intervene with older children. Many times, they can and will settle things among themselves, and it is good practice in conflict resolution.

Don't Make It A Big Deal.
Small spat between your kids? Don't blow it out of proportion. Drawing attention to the issue/conflict may actually encourage them to engage in more fights. Praise them when they solve conflict in a constructive way.

Make Each Child Feel Special. Find something different in each child that you can praise and dote on. Your children need to know that they each have worth as individuals. And don't ever compare your children! This will only incite rivalry and breed bitterness.

Give Them Space.
Many times, your children just need to know they have their own space or possessions, particularly if they are older. Encourage sharing, but also respect boundaries, especially when friends are over.

Sibling conflicts are inevitable, and will help your children grow and develop important skills. However, with these principles, you can keep conflict manageable, and make sure that your house is peaceful (well, for the most part).