of multiple children knows that sibling fights are not unusual. Even the most
loving of families can struggle on a regular basis with the reality of brothers
and sisters getting along.
fights can occur for a lot of different reasons. In some homes, space is tight
and being in very close quarters all the time can create some frustration.
Sometimes just too much “togetherness” can get wearing. (Have you ever gone on
vacation with someone and discovered your patience with each other wearing thin
as the trip went on?) In some cases, sibling personalities are very different,
and each can find the other person’s habits to be difficult to tolerate. For
some children, there can be resentment over perceived favoritism from parents
to a particular brother or sister. The ultimate reason may be that a certain
amount of fighting is to be expected when humans are in the process of growing
up and learning about self-regulation and everyone’s place in the world.
So we know
it’s going to happen, but how can we minimize the impact? As always, role
modeling is critical. When the adults in children’s lives demonstrate the
ability to disagree respectfully and work through differences in a positive
manner, those children will have a head start on handling conflict more
constructively. Parents, teachers, and all adults need to intentionally teach
problem solving skills and establish environments where respect is an
absolute non-negotiable. When children slip into rudeness or name-calling
toward each other, adults need to step in immediately and enforce ground rules
of respect and willingness to take turns listening to all parties.
resource to use with young children early on is the book The Berenstain
Bears Get in a Fight by Stan and Jan Berenstain. Children relate well to
the characters and their real-life conflicts and it’s a great conversation
starter to […]