Sibling Squabbles

sibling fights and mom referee

Sibling Rivalry ~ by, Patience Domowski, LCSW

Siblings love to fight. It’s typical for brothers and sisters to not get along at times. However they should love each other at other times and often get along together. If siblings are constantly fighting and never getting along that’s not typical and it needs work. If the sibs are rarely getting along, don’t like each other, and not engaging together positively, that is a problem.

Try these activities (besides seeking therapy) if these issues are severe.

Work Together Activities

Have the siblings work together to create or make something together. For example:

·         craft project

·         make something out of recycling items (water bottles/cardboard boxes, etc)

·         make a puzzle out of cardboard/cardstock paper

·         cook/bake something together- a cake, brownies, cupcakes, etc

·         science experiment

[Look at Pinterest or DLTK and other mom blog websites for ideas!]

Positive Reinforcement

If siblings are constantly fighting with each other try to stop it with this simple behavior chart strategy. Have them each draw about 20 circles on their own paper/poster (more if they fight very often!). Then whoever starts a fight, or whoever continues a fight get an X on their circle (per parents, not kids!). Whoever has the least amount of X’s and the most leftover circles earns a prize at end of the week (example- go out for ice cream as a treat!). This teaches healthy competition and reduces fighting.

Conflict Resolution

Teach the children to solve their own problems (instead of mom/dad having to solve it all the time). Try to have them come up with some creative solutions themselves. If they can’t or refuse to do so then take away the toy/activity they are fighting over or send them to time out to think about a solution and then return and try a new strategy.

Some suggestions for solving conflicts:

·         Compromise

·         Take turns/share

·         Find something to do separately if can’t get along

·         Take a break

Circles template