Paige, Make them STOP Fighting!

 Paige, Grampie, Julia, Stephen, Circa 1970.

Paige, Grampie, Julia, Stephen, Circa 1970.

Ahhh, siblings!  Aren’t we sweet, aren’t we adorable, is it weird I still have the same hairstyle?  So well dressed, so close to each other, so respectful of beloved, good old Grampie.  Family is magical.

Or NOT.

Siblings can often make us completely bananas!  If we could only stop them fighting then our family life would be peaceful, harmonious and (bad word of bad, bad words), perfect!  Some of us have only one child and I assure you that the insights and actions described below will be useful for many, many types of relationships.  Read on one and all! 

Insight:  Sibling relationships are between the siblings (Hi, that does not include you).  

  • Action:  Butts thee out of what is not thouest (We have trouble really taking in this fact when it’s said in plain English, let’s try Ye Olde English to see if it helps).

Insight:  Siblings tend to fight fair. One is usually physically more aggressive, the other more verbally cutting.  When we come into the sibling fight and act as judge, jury and policeman we upset the power dynamic.  Now the one you decide is the perpetrator has to be that much meaner, aggressive, biting to fight against their sibling AND their parent.  What a nightmare!

Insight: Sibling fights are like icebergs.  We only see the tippy tippy top and tons and tons of stuff goes on under the water.  

  • Action: Watch more closely, ask more questions.  If you have a ‘victim’ do some research and see if he does any snarky, passive aggressive moves before the perp swings into action.  Better yet, go to the park and watch siblings that are not your own.  It can be so much clearer to see this phenomenon in other kids.

Insight: Fighting is a cooperative action.

  • Action:  Be grateful your kids know how to cooperate, then walk out of the room.

Insight: Siblings often fight because they are bored, stressed or trying out some new relationship technique that needs fine tuning before they release it into their friendship pool.

  • Action: Diagnosing and working on the actual cause of the sibling fight is a quicker way to diminish (not eliminate) many squabbles. 

Insight: Siblings fight because it is a great way to get you to stand up and come to them.

  • Action: Stand up and go to them and give them nourishing appropriate attention regularly when behavior is to your liking.  Do NOT give sibling fighting attention on.  What you focus on grows.

Insight:  Siblings relationships are between the siblings.

  • Action:  Butts thee out of what is not thouest (bears repeating . . the more we practice this, the better we get at it).