Even though you may not be at the impasse yet where your little darlings are constantly at one another’s throats, the chances are you will reach the pinnacle of sibling quarrelling at some point. You may look at your toddlers sharing, playing calmly together and looking out for one another and deep down you have a niggling concern that one day they will fight like cats and dogs. While not all that unusual and sometimes healthy for their relationship, you want to be able to show an impartial and restrained attitude towards their discussions and heated debates.
As a responsible parent, you want to instil an attitude of tolerance, respect and responsibility within your offspring. While they seem to be the epitome of good citizens outside of the home, when they retreat back into the family abode, their sibling rivalry can take over. Take a look at how you can try to mitigate their quarrelling and restore peace and order to the family home.
It can be hard to show impartiality if you agree with one sibling rather than the other. However, to show fairness, you must always be willing to listen to both sides of a story. Say your darling daughter had borrowed her older sister’s new top only for it to be returned as if it had been dragged through a hedge backward. An argument beckons and you need to be there to referee and see justice is done. By sitting your little cherubs down to discuss the problem and making them try to resolve it immediately, you aren’t allowing issues to fester. This way the slate can be wiped clean, you can issue a consequence and follow it up, and hopefully, all is right with the world once again.
Give Them Space
In a perfect world each of your children will have their own bedrooms to retreat to should family life or any other worries have become too much. They need a space where they can kick back, relax and chill out for a little while. Sometimes we are not blessed with palatial residences, and siblings need to share a room.
Although not ideal, sharing a bedroom can instil a new sense of sharing into sisters or brothers and can help them see issues through another pair of eyes. When they hit teenage years, they should have their own four walls in which to find sanctuary, but until then they may need to share a room. To allow them some individuality let them choose their own decor, colour scheme, furniture, and lighting. Use this as an incentive if you need to install a couple of bunk beds for children to try and conserve space. Even if it means drawing a metaphorical line down the centre of the room and allowing them to design their area how they wish, this is better than arguments forming over who can sit at the dressing table and who has dibs over the fifth drawer.
No matter how large your home is, it can still feel stifling if you’re in the midst of a confrontation. Even though you know that your kids love one another deep down, when in the throes of an argument, it can feel claustrophobic and seem like a very serious situation. If you sense a heated debate brewing, take your darlings out to the park, get them outdoors in a wide expanse of space and allow them to run off their aggression. Kids can see red very easily and don’t understand the fluidity of their emotions. By giving them a physical release, you can mitigate the chance of quarrels or arguments later.
You don’t want to be living in a household where all the occupants are nothing more than passing ships in the night. Although difficult to achieve, you should still make time for dining together, organising family outings and spending the odd evening together watching a movie. Maintaining the cohesive feel of family life can be tricky especially when the kids start growing up, pursuing their own interests and having busier social calendars than you could ever imagine. However, by seeking out quality family time, you lessen the chances of disagreements between siblings.
Having your own little human beings to take care of, nurture and help mature into responsible and decent adults is a blessing. Take these steps to ensure that your family unit remains as free from quarrelling siblings as much as possible and remains cohesive, together and happy.
This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.