How can you handle sibling conflict well in your home? It’s a good question because conflict is a part of life. Sibling Conflict. Well, that’s going to happen in your home, too.
It probably sounds like:
“Mommy, sister took my toy.”
“He hogged the laptop for all of the IPAD time. I didn’t get to play my games on it.”
“Tell brother to stay out of my room. He keeps touching my stuff.”
“Leave me alone. You are so annoying. I don’t want to play with you.”
Mama, there is a way to handle sibling conflict well in your home so that there is less of this and lots more peace, joy, and everyone getting along.
Even better yet, you can teach your children how to handle the conflict on their own, successfully solving their own disagreements. That’s a life skill we want them to have.
Push play, Mama. Let’s dive in.
HANDLE SIBLING CONFLICT WELL WITH HONOR
Teach your children to honor each other. All of those times we have said, “What did he do to you?” or “What did she do to you?” “He hit me.” “Did not.” “Did too.” Get that out of your home.
It takes two people to argue, so both have a part in it, and somehow both have dishonored or disrespected each other.
Teach them to take responsibility for their part in the argument by asking, “How did you dishonor your sister?” “How did you dishonor your brother?”
Then ask, “What will you do to make it right?” Again both are responsible for their own actions and both need to make it right.
Honoring each other is more important than getting what they want.
If the arguing persists you can ask calmly, “Would you like to try that again this time talking to your sister with honor?”
SEEK RESTORATION IN THE SIBLING RELATIONSHIP
Teach your children to say, “I felt dishonored when you…..grabbed the toy I was playing with. I was having fun playing with it.”
“You probably didn’t mean it this way, but I felt dishonored when you teased me like that. It hurt my feelings.”
Saying it this way empowers them to express to their sibling and to you if you are in conflict with your child what hurt their feelings in a way that is not accusatory or attacking.
By saying, “I felt dishonored when you….” You communicate to bring restoration. You communicate in love wanting to make things right rather than to attack the other person.
Let’s not attack. Let’s honor each other well especially when we don’t see eye to eye.
The last thing we want to invite into our homes is strife. So I encourage you to check out the Renewed Mama Podcast Episode 9 called “Strife Keeps Showing Up. How to be Done with It.”
Teach your children to share. Share toys, cake, cookies, and Lego. Share well by asking well.
“Please may I play with your toy?”
“May I please look at your rock collection?”
“Please may I read your book?”
You may think that it’s too much or these things should automatically be shared but it just shows honor to the sibling to ask first. Some things are really special to children like a rock collection or a book series or a Lego set. Asking first is just how you roll in your house.
If they can’t share a toy by taking turns playing with it, just simply take the toy away. No need to argue. Just say, “I’ll take that toy for now until you are ready to share it.”
Stay consistent and you won’t need to break up arguments when they are 6, 9, or 11 because it is part of their character now to honor each other, to ask first, and to share.
Remember to use Speak Life Badges sticker awards to teach your children to honor and to share. Celebrate them with a sticker badge that says
The sticker award book I Am Special has I Share, I Forgive, I Am Kind, I Am Loving
The sticker award book I Am Priceless has I Am Honoring, I Put Others First, I Walk in Love, I Am Self-Controlled
Use the scripts to help you to know what to say to your child as you give them their badge.
Get Speak Life Badges at speaklifebadges.com.
UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS SOMETHING MORE TO THE STORY
You don’t know the full story, even with your own children in your own home. We don’t know exactly what they are feeling, what they are thinking, or saying in their mind about the conflict, about their sibling, or even themselves.
The same is true for not knowing the full story about another mama, a co-worker, or the grocery store clerk. The more I meet and chat with and coach mamas, I am reminded again and again how we don’t actually know the full story.
What happened in their past that is still holding them back. What they are walking through right now that no one knows. The financial struggle that is keeping them up at night.
The lies that sound like truth because they are a broken record of their current reality not what is possible and hopeful for a better today.
We just don’t know.
And it’s so easy to judge, make assumptions, and be critical when grace, encouragement, and empathy is what’s needed.
So what do you do to better understand that there is something more to the story?
Ask really good, “I sincerely care about you and want to understand your heart,” kind of questions. Rather than jumping to conclusions, or your feelings, or your annoyance, or making judgments.
Ask your children clarifying questions to understand more of the story. Try to understand their heart and where they are coming from when addressing a conflict. Hear them out. Even if you totally disagree or you can’t exactly understand their perspective.
Hear them out fully, without interrupting. What is their view point? What were they thinking?
“Would you share with me what you were thinking when you did this?”
“How come you did that?”
“Would you share with me…..” Saying it this way disarms them.
“Help me to understand how come you….”
“Tell me more about how come you…..”
Remember, you are not attacking. You are not fighting against each other but for each other.
Then paraphrase it to check that you understood what they were saying.
Knowing the full story or more details will help you to respond better to the situation.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
Well, there you have it. Three ways to handle sibling conflict well in your home.
- Honor each other
- Share well by asking well
- Get the full story
Now it’s your turn to tell me which one of these suggestions will help you end the sibling conflict in your home. I’d love to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below or leave a voice message using the recording app found on the main page of speaklifebadges.com.
Share the love, Mama, by messaging three mamas you know who are tired of their children arguing, not sharing, and fighting all the time. Help them out! Let them know that it’s possible to have peace, joy, and children who get along.
NEED HELP CHANGING YOUR WORDS AND YOUR LIFE?
If you need any help, Mama. You have a parenting question or you just can’t seem to get up and out of the tired, chaotic, run down, shouting, Mama rut you are in and it’s more like you are surviving and just barely making it through each day, register now for Renewed Mama Coaching.
I am your Renewed Mama Coach with whom you can talk through your specific frustrations, what you’ve already tried saying and doing that isn’t working, and what you can try instead. We’ll go fruit to root together and help you to think right, to speak right, and to respond right for your children.
There are two parent coaching packages available for you at renewedmamacoaching.com. Book two sessions to get you started and your deepest concern answered right away. You know the thing that keeps you up at night and keeps you frustrated as a Mama.
Or go all in with five sessions where we can go deep with what you are thinking, speaking, and how you are responding. When you book five sessions, you will receive a Speak Life Badges sticker award book to help you to speak right and respond right to your children in a fun with way using the sticker badges.
You don’t have to do it alone. It is so much better working through it together. Go to renewedmamacoaching.com and get coached today.