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Why Can’t They Just Get Along? (Sibling Rivalry)

Why can’t they just get along? How many of you out there have said this either out loud or to yourself at some point? They’re supposed to love each other. You bought each of them presents for their birthdays but now it seems they only want to play with each other’s toys. You had thought that maybe, just maybe; your children would be different. They would get along and be the best of friends since they were so close in age. Or, maybe they would get along because of the difference in age. Your older daughter has such a nurturing quality that you had the idea that once her new baby brother was here she would always find him cute and adorable. One can dream right?

Unfortunately it is sometimes difficult for siblings to get along. Growing up one of my best friends had a little brother that he would tease or find a way to torture relentlessly. Another friend had an older sister that would never want him anywhere near her room. That meant of course that whenever she was off doing something he’d go in there and cause chaos. When she came home, let’s just say he had figured out multiple ways of getting out of the house. I, too, have had disagreements with my brother over the years.

When did caring for and parenting your children mean becoming a referee? You come home after a long day of work and begin to make dinner. Suddenly from the play room you hear shouts of, “That’s mine! Give it back!” The reply comes quickly, “No way! I want it!” So you do what you always do and run in before it gets too physical. You remind them to play nice and share and then go back to the cutting board. Minutes later, you hear the familiar cries and they’re back at it. What can you do?

The answer lies in changing the environment. You change their behavior by taking steps to change your own. Once you change the environment you will see that sometimes it is best to let them sort out their own problems. You will also see your children begin to take more responsibility. We give you strategies that you can use in the moment, when you need more than the repetitive, “I told you two to stop fighting! Wait till your mother/father get home! Then we’ll see if you two want to fight!’ We will also give you strategies to prevent these situations from coming up in the first place. I am not saying that your children will never fight again, if there was some magic elixir I’m sure we would see it along with the latest energy drink in ever y convenience store. There are concrete steps that you can take to establish a household with more communication which will reduce the need for fighting. To do this it takes an open mind and a willingness to try something new. If you are ready for a change, please contact us.

JMHaines can provide:

  1. Immediate strategies that you can use in the moment to help resolve the situation.
  2. Tips on diffusing confrontations over an object.
  3. Strategies to prevent moments of conflict in the first place.
  4. Advice on enhancing communication between you and your child. Letting them express and feel emotion is the key when building positive relationships.
"It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down
and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea." ~Dylan Thomas