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Six point plan for fostering harmony between siblings

Holidays can be bliss but sometimes they can bring out the worst in your kids too. Prolonged exposure to each other can result in siblings fighting so much that parents long for school to resume!

In this article

Rather than asking what should I do when my children fight, the question to ask is what can I do so they are less likely to fight?

6 Point Plan for fostering harmony between siblings

  1. Build up your child’s self esteem through descriptive praise. Children fight with each other when they don’t feel good about themselves and in an effort to get parents’ attention. Make sure they’re getting plenty of appreciation and attention for the positive things they’re doing.

  2. Pay attention to the times when they’re not squabbling or to any aspect of team work, Eg “You two have been playing so nicely together while I’ve been cooking.”

  3. Schedule regular ‘special time’ alone with each child. It need not be very long. Eg playing a game, reading a story, having a conversation, going for a walk.

  4. Limit screens (ie TV, videos, playstation, gameboys etc) especially violence.

  5. Have rules about areas that cause conflict eg sharing toys, computers etc.

  6. Encourage children to express their feelings in words eg “Sometimes I think it feels like your brother gets all the attention. I’m so glad you’re beginning to tell me when you want to be noticed.”

View the full list of Experts who can offer advice on child behaviour.

About the author

Elizabeth Pantley

America parenting expert Elizabeth regularly appears in national magazines and newspapers. She’s the author of eight books, including the ‘No Cry’ series, which won Amazon’s 2007 ‘Best of Parenting’ award.

Articles by Elizabeth Pantley
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