How can we help our children overcome the differences they have with each other, as siblings? Let me share with you three effective ways to do this.
Every parent has expectations about their children, as well as aspects in them that cause different emotions. For example, how does it make you feel to watch your children play, entertain and share, or just watch a movie together? You probably feel peace and satisfaction in the fact that you get along and appreciate the time you spend together.
Although we would all like to see our children in constant peace and harmony, we are faced with the reality that being different from each other, our children come to argue strongly and misunderstandings are generated between them. Perhaps “it is normal” for siblings to fight and have heated arguments, however, not resolving these differences in time can slowly lead to misery, family instability and disappointment.
Strong fights between siblings can be physical, but also emotional and psychological. For example, if one of our children criticizes one of his brothers, it can affect his self-esteem. According to psychologist Ivelisse Morales Rodríguez, sibling rivalries can become very damaging to the entire family.
Ignoring the problem is not a solution: it prolongs it and makes it worse
Our responsibility as parents is to provide our children with the necessary guidance so that they know how to solve their problems and accept their differences, seeking understanding and respecting their opinions. If you have children who conflict with each other frequently, this is the time when you should act to teach them how to solve these problems without reaching physical, verbal, emotional or psychological aggression. Some behaviors of our children require our attention as parents, in order to help them improve and not cause serious problems later.
How can we avoid rivalry between our children?
The following three suggestions can help you establish lasting peace at home, and at the same time provide your children with helpful steps to take when faced with a conflict situation:
Many times, our children like to be competitive. If your child has the spirit of constant self-improvement and likes to compete against his siblings, you can help him see that life offers many instances in which he can compete. The home, on the other hand, is the right environment to learn to work as a team, rather than compete against each other.
Equity between children helps avoid deep differences
This suggestion is essential: avoid making comparisons between your children and always treat them the same. This may be a bit difficult, but it is possible. For example, in our family we have three sons, and we always try to find ways to congratulate each one for something particular they like to do, or what they are very good at: our oldest son is a great artist, our second son is an excellent sportsman and the youngest is a great city builder with his plastic blocks. When we point out their virtues, we make sure that everyone hears what their virtue is. Thus, the fact that each one has its strengths, as well as aspects to improve, comes naturally to them. In the same way, when they have a conflict, we ask them questions separately about the problem and then together. With this we help them to listen to each other’s version and then find together how to resolve the conflict.
Invitation to action
Sometimes siblings avoid facing their conflicts with each other. However, you as a parent can always invite them to make the decision to solve the problems that arise, in order to prevent them from becoming greater and generating frustration, resentment, unhappiness and regret.
I hope that these three ideas are useful to you to help your children to be good brothers and to live in diversity. While their conflicts will not magically disappear, they will learn to be good friends and avoid rivalry, which only produces sadness and destructive feelings in the family. If you are interested in learning more about how to foster friendly relationships between siblings, the article ” We will always meet again in the memory room ” will be helpful.