Do you feel the summertime heat of sibling rivalry?
Tired of the fussing and fighting?
If we view conflict as a problem that must immediately be eliminated or one we must constantly own and take personally, then we will most likely end up picking a winner and a loser and consequently reinforce sibling rivalry.
If we just let them fight it out, then we are leaving the fight in the hands of the stronger more “powerful” child.
By shifting your perspective, you may find helpful ways for cooling things off.
By shifting your thinking from seeing conflict as a problem to seeing it as a normal part of life, and as an opportunity to teach valuable life lessons, that shift provides you with an opportunity to teach necessary and needed skills that deepen relationships and build emotional intelligence.
Conflict is part of relationships.
Conflict happens because adults, parents, and siblings want and need different things.
As parents, our job is to teach our children how to handle conflicts.
Take some steps to help your children build healthy relationship with their siblings and become more emotionally intelligent.
1. Be aware. How much time have I spent being present and having fun with each child individually today? How have I filled my child’s love tank? How have I built connections?
2. Be observant. When children are just bickering they usually can figure things out on their own when given some time and space
3. Be calm. Pause and breathe before you intervene. Breathing helps you remain in the higher centers of your brain where you can parent from your principles rather than your emotions.
4. Be a great listener and validate each child’s feelings. Say what you think they might be wanting or wishing would happen.
5. Be empathic. Help them see things from different perspectives.
6. Be a sportscaster. Help each child find his voice to express his needs and wants without attacking the other person. Teach them to use I- messages.
7. Be a leader. Model how to handle conflict in healthy helpful ways so that your children can mimic you when they experience it.