Updated: Apr 7, 2021
Last week we talked about how we can encourage our children to be the people God made them to be (Psalm 139:14) and in doing so potentially reduce sibling conflict.
One way that siblings can reduce conflict on their own stems from us setting the example. Once we establish their individual gifts and talents, they can begin to see the gifts and talents in their sibling(s). Does this happen overnight? Sadly, no. But it can happen with time and diligence.
Encourage your children to encourage each other (Romans 12:10). Take time alone with each child to coach them on how to lift up their brother or sister. You can say something like, "Machai, your brother is really worried about his math test tomorrow. Can you give him a boost?" Then pay attention for Machai to say something to his brother later. Hopefully it looks something like, "Hey Devin, I know you're going to rock that math test tomorrow."
Gratitude is another way siblings can encourage each other and discourage fighting. When one acknowledges the other's efforts, the heart is softened. Something simple like Jackie saying to her sister, Pamela..."Pamela thanks for cleaning up your side of the sink, I really appreciate it."
It's pretty simple and straightforward. If this isn't your style, it may take some getting used to. Encourage them to keep trying (1 Peter 4:8)! The best way to do this is to begin as a parent. Support and show gratitude. It takes some advance thinking at times, but it's totally worth the effort! You'll notice the change over time. As it becomes a habit, then move to teaching your kids how to do it. I promise it's time well spent!
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This is one of my favorites. I read it when my kids were small and it truly helped me understand the sibling relationship much better.
I haven't read this one yet but it's on my list!
I once knew a young boy who screamed and fussed very loudly! Once he learned these lessons he learned the world was not as bad as he thought. This looks like a cute book for teaching the same lesson.
I love this one because it's grounded in solid research.