When siblings fight

“She started it; it wasn't my fault!” It's normal for siblings to fight, and squabbling and arguments are more or less part of family life. Here are some tips on keeping the peace around the house.

It's normal for some siblings to fight now and then. It's almost impossible not to have arguments when you live as closely together as siblings do. And why some siblings fight more than others is a matter of personality and the example set by adults. 
Further reading: Getting a new sibling  Tips for dealing with sibling jealousy

13 tips for helping your children to respect each other

• Never compare your kids with one another. No competing, like “Who can put their shoes on first?” That approach creates stress and competition – as well as unnecessary fighting.
• Encourage them to cooperate where possible. For example, let them team up against you when playing games, and praise them when they work together.
• Nurture their differences and shared strengths and praise them.
• If they share a room, give them a little privacy. Time alone without each other's company can have a positive effect.
• Set aside time to be alone with each child separately.
• Encourage them to be friends with other people.
• Teach them to show respect for one another – especially when they're fighting.  
• If you respect yourself and others, your kids will learn from you.
• If a fight is underway: wait and see what happens sometimes, so you know for sure. Give them a chance to resolve the conflict themselves. It's good practice.
• If a fight is underway and you intervene, let each child tell their side of the story without interrupting. It's important for their self-esteem that they are heard. Remain neutral at all times and then help your children resolve the conflict constructively.
• After the fight, when everyone's had a chance to speak, ask: “How can we resolve this problem?” Listen or offer suggestions if the children don't have any.
• Another solution is to anticipate and distract if you notice a fight's underway, maybe even before the kids are aware of it themselves. It asks a lot of you to always be within earshot, but during some periods, intervening before the argument escalates can be a sensible solution.
• If you then point out that you just deflected a conflict, the children may learn a lot about themselves and how to go about avoiding fights. Your guidance is important.

Read more about scrapping children.
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