Parent Partnerships

Fostering Healthy Sibling Relationships

Help kids MANAGE their emotions

“Yep, it would make me mad too if someone said that to me.” Usually someone’s feelings get hurt when siblings argue, so make sure you recognise their emotions without taking sides. This focus on feelings helps kids develop emotional literacy and promotes empathy in siblings as well.





MONITOR sibling relationships

Keep your antenna up for signs of discord within sibling relationships. Kids can sort out some disputes themselves, but you may need to be ready to intervene and assist with peace-brokering, or at least to act as a safety net, when one child continually appears to be on the wrong end of a power imbalance.


MENTOR them to sort out disputes

Kids need the chance to sort their conflicts out themselves, but sometimes they need a little coaching. They often invite their parents to take sides, which is usually counterproductive. Rather than trying to sort out who started an argument, focus on possible solutions. Provide suggestions such as taking turns, giving way, bargaining, swapping or even walking away.




Encourage them to MAKE UP

Kids often get over disputes far quicker than adults. They can be squabbling one minute and cuddling up the next, so intervening gets tricky sometimes. However there are times when you need to encourage a child to mend bridges with an aggrieved sibling. This can mean a child has to swallow their pride, admit that they may be wrong, make an apology or make some sort of restitution such as doing a special favour. This type of restoration means kids must take responsibility for their behaviours and is a sign of growing maturity.


Here is the full article: