With summer in full swing, and my kids spending nearly all day every day together, I have seen a significant uptick in their sibling rivalry over the past few weeks. Anyone else? I think siblings fighting is one of the most common and heaviest problems that moms struggle with on a daily basis.
I know I myself have said things like, “My children are both so strong-willed, and their personalities just clash. There's nothing I can do to help them get along!” And yet it is truly one of my dearest hopes that my children can grow to become great friends, confidants, and protectors of each other, like my sisters and I are.
While it's true that we can't actually dictate that our kids will have good relationships with each other or else, there actually is a lot that we can do to help reduce sibling rivalry in our home. And the best news of all is it has nothing to do with what they are doing and everything to do with what we are doing.
For the next two weeks on the podcast, I'm thrilled to be re-airing two episodes with one of the world’s most renowned experts on sibling rivalry. Dr. Laura Markham is a mother of two children who are now thriving young adults. She earned her PhD in clinical psychology from Columbia University and is the author of several outstanding books on parenting, including the book that we're going to discuss in depth today, Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life.
I’m so grateful for these research-backed takeaways from Dr. Laura Markham. I hope you will think about how each of these takeaways could help you reduce sibling rivalry in your home, even if your kids are older or teenagers.
3 Takeaways for how to reduce sibling rivalry
Remember, let's start with understanding what we can control within our children's relationship with each other:
- We can control our own behavior and the way we model self-regulation for our children by not flipping out and yelling.
- We can control how much we invest in connecting with each of our children individually, so they don’t feel as much need to rival for our attention and love.
- We can control how we intervene in our children’s conflicts, coming in as someone who can coach them and build skills, not as a judge or referee.
>>>Are these tips about how to reduce sibling rivalry helpful? What would you add to the takeaways? Tell us in the comments below.
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Website: Aha! Parenting
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-Mentioned in the Episode-
- Book: Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life by Dr. Laura Markham
-Related Episodes like this one about how to reduce sibling rivalry-