Harmony Among Siblings
Sibling relationships can be lifelong and typically form at a young age. Positive sibling relationships rely on trust and respect, problem-solving, optimism, and open communication. Siblings often teach each other social skills and at times act as a parent, tutor, or role model to one another. Siblings are even known to be each other’s best friend!
As a parent, we want our children to get along, knowing they will only have each other when we are gone. If you’re finding it hard for your children to be in the same room together without arguing, here are few things to consider: First, address how siblings handle arguments. Conflict resolution can become a habit that children develop at a young age and carry throughout their lives. As a parent, when the siblings are having a disagreement and “can’t stand each other,” you can remind them of times when they worked together as a team. This could even mean pointing out the time they worked together to hide a broken lamp or cover up a spill on the floor. These examples paint a picture that the siblings are more than capable of working together to resolve conflict and address issues together.
Next, parents should try to make the household a “judgment-free zone”; a place where the children feel accepted, valued, and heard. The home can be a place for children to be their most vulnerable and comfortable. In households that are too strict, children may feel they are being judged or evaluated. This could cause them to feel unsafe to ask questions or share ideas and concerns. Respect is the best way to prevent judgmental feelings. It may be hard to understand your child’s perspective, but you can demonstrate respectful responses that allow them to feel safe expressing themselves. Create an environment that encourages respect, optimism, and listening. Hopefully, this will foster an environment where healthy sibling relationships can begin to flourish as well.