Sibling Conflict – What Parents Should Do

sibling-conflict When your kids come together, do they always fight and shout at each other? Disagreements occur between nearly all siblings. However, sometimes the intensity of conflict is severe enough to attract the attention of parents. Parents are often in a quandary about the manner in which they should handle conflicts between their kids.

Why siblings fight?
Parents should not think that their kids quarrel with each other because they dislike each other. It is not unusual to see siblings coming to each other’s aid despite past conflicts. Siblings fight to test their position in their family and to establish their dominance over their brothers and sisters.

Children often consider fighting with their brother or sister as a method of attracting their parents’ attention. They might feel that their kid brother or sister gets most of the attention, and he/she is ignored by mom and dad.

The child also wants to establish his/her dominance on most of the household resources. He wants to have all the chocolates and cookies for himself. The intensity of sibling conflicts is greater among children who are similar to each other. Children of the same sex, with very little age difference and same interests are more prone to sibling conflicts. Conflict is their way of trying to establish their dominance over each other. However, in the case of identical twins, there is hardly any conflict. The intimacy, which identical twins share with each other, makes them feel incomplete without each other’s presence.

Should parents interfere?
Parents are often unsure whether they should interfere in the conflicts of their children. If you choose to stay away from your children’s bickering, you have to be patient enough to wait for a long time until the kids hammer out their differences. However, being a mediator in a conflict helps peace to return to your family fast. If you choose to intervene in your children’s conflicts, do it at the beginning of the conflict, when their problems have not attained proportions that are more serious.

Teach children to get along
Parents should be tactful while dealing with quarrelling kids. Tell them that it is natural to have differences, but they should know how to get along despite their differences. Since similar interests might escalate their conflicts further, try to involve them it different activities and separate friends circles.