126: 3 Fail-Proof Ways to Reduce Sibling Rivalry // Dr. Laura Markham

As parents, we sometimes feel like we have no control over sibling rivalry and the relationships our children form with each other. And that can feel so discouraging.

I know I myself have said things like, “My children are both so strong-willed. Their personalities just clash, and there’s nothing I can do to help them get along!”

But there is actually a lot that we can do to make it much more likely that our kids will develop close friendships. And the best news of all is that it has nothing to do with what they are doing and everything to with what we are doing.

Today on the podcast, I am thrilled to be interviewing one of THE most renowned experts on sibling rivalry whose book helped me to see the control that I have in the development of my kids’ relationships with each other. 

Dr. Laura Markham earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Columbia University and is the author of several outstanding books on parenting, including the book that we are going to discuss in-depth today, Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life.

Dr. Laura is also a mother of two thriving young adults, so she has lived what she studies and teaches, and I’m just so honored that she is joining us for not one but TWO episodes on sibling rivalry this month–because this topic is so big and important that it really deserves a series.

Come back next week for part two!

Sibling Rivalry

Three Takeaways:

  1. You can control your own behavior and the way you model self-regulation to your children by not flipping out and yelling.
  2. You can control how much you invest in connecting with each of your children individually, so they don’t feel as much need to rival for your attention and love.
  3. You can control how you intervene in your children’s conflicts, as a coach, not a judge or referee.

Show Notes:


Many thanks to this month’s sponsor, Betterhelp, the world’s largest provider of online counseling. I’m truly honored to partner with a company whose mission is to make professional counseling accessible, affordable, and convenient to anyone who struggles with life’s challenges.

Get 10% off your first month with the discount code 3IN30.

To get started, simply go to betterhelp.com/3in30, and fill out the onboarding questionnaire to help them assess your needs and match you with a counselor you’ll love!

Related Episodes:

077: How to Coach Your Children Through Their Big Emotions

050: How to Actually Listen to Your Children

038: How to Get your Teens to Talk to You (And It Starts When They’re Young!)

084: The 3 Cs of Transformative Discipline

Have you experienced sibling rivalry with your kids? What did you do? Let me know in a comment below!