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How To Resolve Sibling Conflict

Are you tired of playing referee between your bickering children? Do you feel like you're constantly breaking up World War III in your living room? At Brightside Behavioral Health, we practice interventions that may tame even the most intense of sibling rivalries. And don’t worry, they don't involve duct tape or earplugs (although I can't guarantee they won't cross your mind at some point).

The first step to take as a parent when encountering constant fighting between your children is to establish ground rules. This means sitting down with your kids, and establishing expectations around how they should treat each other. Make sure they understand that name-calling, hitting, and other aggressive behaviors are never acceptable. We must always encourage them to express their feelings in a calm and respectful manner.  

Many times, kids fight because they're unable to express their feelings. Guiding children to talk to each other, instead of resorting to physical or verbal attacks, is imperative to raising children who grow into healthy adults. We can do this by helping them practice active listening. This may be done by repeating what the other person has said and letting them know you understand what they are saying. Encouraging open communication will not only help your children problem solve with each other, but will teach them critical communication skills they will use in countless areas in their lives.

Additionally, children often learn by example. Modeling healthy conflict resolution is a great way to show kids how to resolve conflicts in a healthy manner. This can be done by using "I" statements, instead of accusing or blaming, and by actively listening to the other person's perspective. Remember, kids are watching even when you don’t realize it, and how you respond to conflict will influence their behavior. 

If your children's fighting is becoming too much to handle, don't be afraid to seek outside help. A family therapist can help you and your children learn new strategies for dealing with conflict. At Brightside Behavioral Health, our team of counselors are passionate about providing families the help they need, and restoring peace within the household. 

It is our belief that intervention with intention will lead to a harmonious home . Of course, your kids will still have disagreements, but they'll be able to resolve them without resorting to aggression. And if all else fails, just remember, duct tape and earplugs are always an option (just kidding, don't actually use them)