What to Do When Siblings Don't Get Along
For children, it’s very positive and healthy to have siblings. Having a brother or sister helps children relate better to others and learn faster. But what happens when siblings don’t get along?
Having a playmate and someone with whom to share laughter and mischief is undoubtedly a very good thing. Of course, there are times when siblings fight and argue, and this is completely normal.
In the case of siblings who just don’t get along and whose arguments are very frequent, parents need to take action. Below, we’ll look at some recommendations to help children improve their behavior.
A healthy and relaxing family environment
Most arguments among siblings arise because of an existing rivalry between them. Sometimes, children want to get their parents’ attention or feel jealousy of their brother or sister. And, on occasion, children may begin to fight just out of simple boredom.
Parents need to make a daily effort to foster a good relationship among their children and avoid resentment between them. To achieve this goal, they must listen to their children and help them solve the problems they have with one another .
The cause of the arguments among siblings almost always has to do with both siblings. Parents should never take sides or label one child as being to blame for conflicts. This will only cause your child to become accustomed to this description and take on this attitude permanently.
When arguments between siblings occur, it’s best to dialogue about the original problem. Try to help your children solve the issue in a way that’s fair and reasonable.
The family environment is very important. If parents solve their differences by yelling, children will repeat this same behavior.
However, if parents provide a respectful and relaxed environment, this will produce a positive attitude among their children. It’s important for parents to teach their children through their own example how to share, help and compromise.
Each child should receive personalized treatment
Parents should try to satisfy each of their children’s needs individually. This is paramount in helping their children enjoy a healthy relationship with one another and avoid excessive conflicts.
It’s important to keep aspects such as the birth order, sex, age and personality of each sibling in mind. All these factors influence the treatment that children require. Not every child has the same needs, so the way we approach our children needs to be personalized.
Each child should feel unique and special for his or her parents. Even if he’s not the youngest… Even if she’s not the one who’s sick… Even though he’s not the one having difficulties. Parents need to provide equal shares of love and attention at all times.
This will help their children feel more secure and feel less jealousy of their siblings. As a result, they’ll be less prone to feel the need to seek their parents’ attention constantly. And, consequently, arguments among siblings will be less frequent.
“If parents solve their differences by yelling, children will repeat this same behavior”
When siblings don’t get along, give them their own space
It’s important for children to have their own personal space, and parents can help make this happen. By saying this, we’re not just referring to physical space. Each child should have his or her own toys, friends, interests, etc.
It’s very common for older siblings to take responsibility for caring for their younger sibling. This is fine, but it’s also important for them to know they don’t always have to carry this burden.
Parents should allow older siblings, for example, to go to the park with friends without having to take their younger siblings along.
It’s also a good idea for older siblings to be able to spend the night at a friend’s house. This will give them the opportunity to learn to be more independent. At the same time, it gives parents the opportunity to spend alone time with their little one.
Never compare your children
To improve the relationship of siblings who don’t get along, parents should always avoid comparisons. Constantly comparing siblings to one another will only produce rivalry. They end up feeling the need to compete against one another to please their parents. This only makes the situation worse.
To encourage a better relationship, parents need to value each of their children equally. This means appreciating their virtues and accepting their defects and weaknesses. This will have positive effects on their development and produce harmony within the family.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Dunn J. (1993). Young children’s close relationships: Beyond attachment. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.
- Martín Nieto, J., & Gómez Gómez, O. (2014). Cómo gestionar las relaciones entre hermanos y las relaciones intergeneracionales con la familia extensa, nuevos modelos de familia, etc. https://www.redined.educacion.es/xmlui/handle/11162/131186