In this week’s podcast episode of Parenting with Truth and Grace, we talk about how to deal with siblings who are fighting. You can listen to the podcast here. Also, if you haven’t already subscribed, why don’t you subscribe now so you automatically get each week’s newest episode?
We’ve had many parents ask for help in this area. They’ll tell us… “I don’t want to referee!”… I don’t want to play judge and jury.”… “I hate seeing my kids be mean to each other!”… “They’re always fighting.”
Hopefully, your experience with sibling children isn’t nearly this intense, but we’re guessing you still have moments where you are wondering, “What can I do!?!?” Obviously we can’t fully solve the dance we call sibling relationships, but we can offer some sage advice regarding this age old dynamic.
In today’s episode of “Parenting with Truth & Grace” we talk about fighting siblings. More to the point, we share specific ideas about preventing, or more accurately improve on the health of their relationship with brother or sister.
Medicine has a little something to offer us when it comes to this topic of sibling relationships. As it turns out, do no harm is a good idea for doctors, but it’s also good for brothers and sisters. Today, armed with the advantage of 20/20 hindsight, we are more passionate than ever. That’s the reason for this topic of siblings.
Here are three practical tips that help diminish the sibling rivalry and enhance the sibling affection!
- No friends unless… quite simply, if two of your kids are fighting or being mean to each other, then having other friends over or visiting someone else ISN’T an option. Away from the actually moment, when tensions aren’t so high, do a little teaching. We explained multiple times to our children, “You’re not going to go out there and be kind and loving to your friends, only to come home and be awful to each other.” Until they learn to better manage their relationship with brother and sister, “friends” are being taken away from.
- Twins for a day (or week)… this one is the natural progression from #1 above. When a particular pair of siblings really struggle with each other the tendency is to separate them. We believe in just the opposite. I won’t mention it was Jordan and Tana that had a hard time. On a couple of occasions when they were really struggling with each other. So one day, we left Jordan and Tana, and told them, other than bodily functions, they were to be joined at the hip. If they are unable to get along for the day, then the one day turned into two which could easily turn into three.
- The Gospel Re-enactment… This strategy is so very important. When they mess up with each other, teach them to keep short accounts. Teach them to say, “I’m sorry for ____________. Will you please forgive me?” Teach them to respond with, “I forgive you!” We could go on and on, suffice it to say re-enacting the gospel has changed our families life. I pray it does the same for you. Here is the link for the free pdf I mentioned:
So there is a lot more about parenting siblings than we can possibly cover in one podcast or even a a series of three. Hopefully it’s given you a little encouragement and challenge with your children.
We’d love to hear your sibling stories. “What was it like for your children growing up as siblings?” “What do you do when your kids are fighting?”