Let there be Peace - How can I help my kids get along better?
In many families, the children count their siblings among their friends. But it’s also common for siblings to be great friends one day and hateful to one another the next. They often compete with, are jealous of, and harbor resentment of one another.
You've likely seen this particular green-eyed monster. It's known as sibling rivalry, and it's universal.
How you respond to your children's rivalry can help improve their relationship. Here are some things to try:
Whenever possible, don't get involved. Step in only if there's a danger of physical harm. If you always intervene, you risk creating other problems. The kids may start expecting your help and wait for you to come to the rescue rather than learning to work out the problems on their own. There's also the risk that you — inadvertently — make it appear to one child that another is always being "protected," which could foster even more resentment. By the same token, rescued kids may feel that they can get away with more because they're always being "saved" by a parent.
- Provide affection and individual quality time on an equal basis.
- Plan fun activities for your whole family.
- Avoid labels for your children, such as the "difficult one."
- Instead of taking a side, encourage them to brainstorm for a resolution.
- Show them how to cooperate and share things.
- Teach them positive ways to get each other's attention.