Here it is, I’ve had it on my list for a while now. And I haven’t addressed it because, well I’m not an expert on sibling rivalry. But I know some people that are. So over the next few days, I want to come at this unceasing drama a few different ways.
First, to all the parents with one child. Take a few days off I guess? Revisit an old episode that you think really helped you, or better yet, talk with your bestie about that episode. Build your community up a little.
For the rest, it is a natural issue, sibling rivalries. You didn’t create it. You can’t make it go away completely. This is life. Don’t beat yourself up over it.
But the best way to accept it is to ask yourself, just like positiveparentingsolutions.com puts it:
how would you feel if your spouse brought home someone else and expected the two of you to get along?
I’ll link the website I got some of these tips from in the show notes.
There are 6 good tactics on that list. I want to cover two of them, because I do one, and I should do more of the other.
- Stay out of squabbles. When an argument brews: Ignore it. I’m not always good at it, especially when I see one kid flooding the other one, and that feels unfair. But now is the time to let them figure it out or fail. If it fails, it’s better that a 6 and 3 year old get into it vs a 17 and 14 year old. The punches are easier to get in the middle of now.
- Arrange for attention: Your kids need attention. If you’re an average adult, with an above average cell phone screen time, you could probably stand to carve out a specific 10 or 15 minutes to play with your kid. This means uninterrupted. Present. I was pretty good at this when they were 2. When they were unable to self play, I would force myself to be present with them, even when it was rough. And I’ve lost some of that. So find something interesting, but let your little ones guide it.
Last, conflict resolution is a very advanced skill set, so don’t project your adult reasoning onto developing brains. Give them some runway, but when it starts to work, you’ll feel the stress level in the house go down a notch.