Creative Child

Solutions for Sibling Rivalry

by Rebecca Eanes


If children are too young for the peace circle (toddlers), then call for a time-in if one is being the aggressor, or a cool-off if both or more are equally involved. A time-in means you bring the child onto your lap or in close proximity to you and state your limit about not calling names (or whatever happened) and help her calm down and teach her what to do instead. A cool-off means they simply must separate from each other until they can be respectful toward one another.When everyone is ready, discuss the incident. 

Spend quality time with each child. It is important to fill each child's emotional tank by connecting one on one. When each child feels wholly loved and connected to his or her parents, there is no need for rivalry. I know we are all busy, but 10-20 minutes a day can make a huge difference in your relationship.

All children should feel safe in their own homes, and allowing sibling rivalry to go unchecked doesn't allow that to happen. Set appropriate boundaries that respect each individual in the home and that create an atmosphere of acceptance and love, not rivalry and conflict. Conflicts will still sometimes arise, and that is perfectly normal, but by setting boundaries around respect and teaching conflict resolution skills, we can teach our children how to find solutions, repair relationships, and come back to peace.

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Related Post: Preparing Children for a New Sibling

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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