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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • May 2017
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Five ways to prevent sibling arguments

Brothers and sisters can be great friends, and those friendships often grow stronger with age. However, when kids are young, those fun and friendly relationships are not always so easy to come by. Arguments and fights may occur as sibling rivalry rears its ugly head, and parents may be unsure how to resolve the conflicts. Keeping peace in the family may require some of these strategies.

Encourage positive remarks. Encourage siblings to say a nice thing about each other around the dinner table. Acknowledging what they like about a sibling can help kids focus on the positives of being a brother or sister.

Eliminate “mini-parents.” It is the adults’ job, not kids’, to reprimand or show direction to children. When one child starts parenting another, parents must nip that in the bud as quickly as possible.

Employ reverse psychology. Force the children to spend no time together one day. Actually ban interaction among siblings if they are prone to constant fights. Going without that company can illustrate just how much they miss being together.

Reward bickering and fussing with chores. Reward arguments with chores. If children have time to argue, they are probably not engaged in productive work. Knowing extra chores will be the result of arguing can help limit the number of fights.

Fair doesn’t mean identical. Children sometimes pick fights if they think a sibling is getting more attention from their mother and/or father than they are. Kids need different things in a relationship and parents can recognize that carbon-copy activities will not help quell that feeling of unfairness. 

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