Our two children seem to fight so much. It bothers me and I do not know how to resolve it. I wish they would just get along do you have any suggestions?
Dearest Concerned Mama,
We are all in the same boat – sibling rivalry seems to exist everywhere. Each child is unique and different, and no child is the same. When you get two siblings in a room, too often there seems to be a difference of opinion. The interesting thing about siblings is that typically their personalities are opposite. I have reflected on this myself, as my brother and I are quite different from one another. But I do think that the reason for this is so that we can learn from each other. Our strengths are the weaknesses found in the other sibling, together we are strong and balance each other.
In your case, you may be carrying the load of resolving the conflict. It is important that siblings learn how to navigate through resolving their own issues. They need to learn how to respect one another’s opinions, and learn how to resolve conflict. There are a few things you can do:
- Ask yourself do you need to step in? Has the fight escalated to hurt feelings? - Step in, bring down the level of conflict, and give them some time and space by breaking them up. Once you have given them space, and they have calmed down, bring them together to talk calmly about the conflict.
- Do not focus too much on who is to blame, it takes two to create a conflict, help them navigate through their feelings. Ask each of them to talk about from their perspective, what the problem was.
- If they both are still feeling like they cannot reach a common ground, suggest space and remind them that family is forever. This is an important concept for children to understand. We are to love and treat each other as we would like to be treated.
In doing this you are teaching your children how to resolve conflict/disputes, how to use their words to explain how they are feeling, how to compromise and above all how to control their emotions.
Life is hard at times, there is no definitive way of dealing with these situations. It is not black and white, but there are some simple things you could do to ensure that you grow emotionally resilient children.
Show and tell them how much they are loved. One of the things I do every night with my babies (and yes I will call them babies forever) is tell them how much I love them and how amazing they are. Unconditional love is key to helping to develop a strong sense of self in the child.
Give your children enough one-on-one time. It is important for them to see that you value them separate from their brother/sister. This can be difficult – but it is ok to have date nights with your kids!
Recognize when children need time apart; some children need more of this than others. Help your children to understand that sometimes, we all need space.
Finally, give yourself some grace, there is no manual for this. We are all in the same boat J
Dear Lord God,
We struggle as parents, help us to raise our children in your ways, help us to exert patience, understanding and discernment. Help us to build children who are confident and respectful. I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.
Blessings to you beautiful lady,
If you have a question for Vanessa please email her at [email protected]
You can also read Vanessa’s personal blog and journey at www.nesschesters.wordpress.com