What if they’re not getting along during some “Sibling Fun”?

We don’t know why you’d ask us this. Siblings report feeling blissful during activities found in our book (ha, ha!) Sibling fights and squabbles can happen anytime and anywhere but they are most frustrating when all you’re trying to do is have some FUN. Here’s are best advice.

What to do if siblings don’t get along during an activity?

Try to pick a time when your children are rested, fed and in generally good moods before starting an activity. OK, we know it takes the stars and moon to align such magic but it does happen (sometimes)

Remember that on average, kids ages 3 to 7 will engage in about 3.5 conflicts an hour. It’s normal, it’s natural.

When they fight over possessions, tease each other and even when they are getting along — they are learning valuable life lessons. Lessons such as, how to socialize, negotiate, stand up for themselves, and find their strengths and weaknesses. Girls are teaching their brothers about the mystery of well…girls and brothers are teaching their sisters about the inner workings of guys.

OK, now to the nuts and bolts!

How to avoid conflict in first place

  • Make sure the kids are “in a good place” (see above)
  • Make sure you are too. If you’re over the top stressed, they may go there too.
  • Distraction is key! One child has the purple crayon and won’t let go. The other child needs the purple crayon this instant. Point out another part of the activity to one child. Remind one about his other favorite color, etc.
  • Don’t compare children (ever) Praise individual accomplishments “I really like how you made the sun in your drawing, (name of child).” Don’t compare, “I like how Mike’s sun is yellow and round, you should make yours look more like that, Casey.”
  • Pick an activity that fits the mood, weather and timeframe.
    • For quiet times or low-energy times, we recommend Show Me a Sign (page 242) or Name Plates (page 213)
    • For intense times, we recommend Yoga (page 94) or Morning Stretch (page 76)
    • For high-energy times, we recommend Soaring with Scarves (page 92) or Green, Yellow, Red Light (page 134)
    • For family bonding, we recommend Questions in a Jar (page 231) or Adopt a Family Tree (page 265)
    • For independent play (parent sets up, offers supervision), we recommend activities from Let’s Pretend chapter (page 43)

    We found the best book for parents who want their children to simply get along is Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish. Here’s an example of how their magic approach works.

    You’re dishing out stickers for an activity to your children when one inevitably screams, “Hey, he’s has more than me!” What do you do?

    A. “Oh, it sounds like may need more for your project. Do you want a few more?”

    B. “Oops, you’re right, he does have more. Here you go!”

    C. “That’s not true.You both have the same!”

    Correct answer: A. Answer A takes the issue of equality out. You give according to need. Answer B, will likely result in five more back and fourths of who has more. Answer C, will not satisfy this unhappy costumer.

    Get this book. It will save lives!

    Once conflict arises, try this:

    • Wait. If the children are both verbal-abled see if they can work it out.
    • Get involved by describing the situation.This will help to acknowledge their positions
    • Express confidence that they will arrive at a solution or if they are young, you offer a solution.

    – Heather


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