Sibling fights… they’re normal!
The most important thing to remember is that sibling fights are completely normal. However, it is good for children to learn about healthy conflict resolution and the art of compromise.
There will almost always be elements of rivalry between siblings – it’s a survival instinct and we all want to be assured that we are special, loved and wanted. The ultimate goal is for kids to use play to work their disagreements, rather than through conflict or fighting.
Remember to set a good example by demonstrating good conflict resolution and a respectful way of settling disagreements yourself. If you get angry, so will they, so don’t just say, show the way!
To find out more about National Families Week and the 2021 theme 'Stronger Families, Stronger Communities', visit their website here.
Below are some tips to help manage sibling conflict;
- Give kids the opportunity to play with others.
- Step in to help if they don’t seem able to work out disagreements.
- Help them find ways to express feelings and label emotions when you see them.
- Divert their attention when they are ready to blow…put on music and dance it away!
Look after each child’s needs
- Spend regular quality time with each child even if it’s 10 minutes a day.
- Give each child lots of hugs and tell them you love them, REGULARLY.
- Don’t compare siblings.
- Remember, while siblings must learn to share, they also need some space to call their own.
Have clear family rules
- However, try to ensure there aren’t too many and keep them simple.
- Focus on what you want the children to do, NOT what they shouldn’t do.
- Involve children in rulemaking.
- Write the family rules down and hang a copy where everyone can see them.
- Always follow through if the rules are broken with an agreed consequence
As we journey through these challenging times, please reach out for support. You can call Relationships Australia WA on 1300 364 277 or visit www.relationshipswa.org.au
4families - If you live in Albany, Bunbury, Busselton, Cockburn, Kwinana, Mandurah, Manjimup, Margaret River or Rockingham you can get free support through our 4families service.
4Dads - The 4Dads program offers information, education, referrals and support for fathers of children up to 18 years in the Mandurah and Pinjarra areas.
Education – Our professional facilitators run a variety of family and parenting courses, including Building Stronger Families.
Counselling - We provide counselling for families, including group and individual sessions. Our counsellors are experienced and skilled in dealing with family relationship challenges and can help support families to assess their needs, identify areas for change, better understand and relate to each other, restore trust and communication and to ultimately strengthen relationships within the