There is no doubt about it, brothers and sisters are going to fight each other. The problem is that it drives us parents crazy! Every parent of multiple children finds themselves pulling their hair out at some point or another over their children fighting one another. We discuss this with friends, we complain about it to family, we desperately search for an answer to this problem. No two people nor set of people are the same; not even your children. It is because of this that a solution which works for one parent, may not work for the next. There are some universal lessons though which when taught will minimize if not end your kids fighting.
One thing you will want to do if you experience this problem is to create a bond of family togetherness among your children. You will want to teach the value and importance of family. Explain how there will always come a time in which they will need family because no one will be there for them the way family will. Of course they will get this lesson on their own in time; but why not enforce it early and decrease the frustration of your kids fighting?
Next, you will want to feed your kids the truth that though all family is important, there is a special bond between siblings. No one ever in life, including your parents, will understand you the way a brother or sister will. Your sibling receives the same upbringing as you do. They are raised in the same environment and with the same rules and lessons. This creates like mindedness amongst siblings. It will do a great deal to stop your kids fighting if you teach them that the very person they are fighting, is the only person who will understand them when no one else does. Teach them that they will need each other and that they should treasure each other now. You may not believe it, but this actually works.
You will also want to point out some benefits of togetherness. When you want your kids fighting to end, try pointing out to them what they can accomplish as a team instead. Encourage them to work together to complete tasks such as homework and chores. Point out how much time they can save for leisure activities if they handle responsibilities as a team. You can even make it a rule in your home that your kids have to find at least one thing weekly that they can do to help one another and report that deed to you.
Another simple way to minimize or end your kids fighting is to implement more family time in general. As you create more opportunities for your children to have fun together, their bond will grow and your kids fighting will surely disappear.
While spending time together, you can also teach communication and conflict resolution skills. If a disagreement arises, encourage them to talk things out and verbally but calmly express how they feel. You should mediate and ask that each express to the other why they are hurt or upset. Try having them use the words “When you do___, it makes me feel___, because___”. Then you should ask of them if they intended to make their brother or sister feel that way. Ask each of them what that would prefer the other to do. You may even have them name at least one thing they love about each other. This emphasizes the positive and minimizes the negative. Then teach them to compromise and that it’s okay to not always agree on thing or be able to come to a resolution. Teach them that sometimes the only agreement they will be able to come to is the agreement to disagree; but that they should always respect each other. You may want to have them stand and hug for a while before attempting to have these talks. They will hate the hug at first but giggles will quickly ensue. This will be the cool down period which everyone needs in order to effectively discuss angered situations. Teaching these lessons will cause your kids fighting not to be an issue anymore