Children will always be unique in their own way. With their distinct personalities, it is common for siblings to argue, and to get into fights. And as they go through different stages of growth and development, their varying needs can result to jealousy and disputes. Sibling rivalry is common among children, and it is a normal part of their growing up years.

Children can fight over petty things, but it can be influenced by a child’s developmental stage. Toddlers can be so particular about ownership, and if a sister or brother does not respect his “property rights”, they are bound to get into a fight. School-aged children may be more concerned about equality, and they are very sensitive as to how another child may be treated differently. They can never settle for reasons like, “Your sister is still a baby”. When kids frequently fight, it can be stressful for the entire family.

In order to promote a peaceful atmosphere at home, parents need to effectively deal with conflicts, and at the same time promote a loving relationship among siblings. Parents should only get involved, only when it is absolutely necessary. This will teach children to sort their differences on their own. They need to learn how to properly handle disputes and strong emotions, so they can better cope with the challenges ahead.

If you need to intervene, avoid taking sides and do not put the blame, on any of your child. If name-calling is an issue, guide your kids to appropriately express how they are feeling. Sometimes, children may need some time apart before they can settle their differences. This may be necessary, especially when both kids are unreasonably angry. Settling disputes when both kids are angry may only re-escalate the fight.

Children also look up to their parents, and they may adopt the way their parents handle conflicts. If they see their parents shouting, or arguing loudly during a fight, they may also develop these habits later on. On the contrary, if they see that their parents resolve conflicts in a respectful and productive manner, they may be guided as to how they can effectively respond to disputes.

You may also take steps to prevent conflicts at home. Make sure that your children understand and obey the rules at home. They need to learn how they can be accountable for their own actions. If necessary, schedule weekly family meetings so that issues can be raised and settled.

It is also important that you spend quality time with your children. A one-on-one time with each child can help them feel more secured. They should know that they are loved despite their differences. Family fun time can also be a way to help your children get along. Watch movies, play games, and do fun activities together. This will give your children an opportunity to bond, and it also promotes a healthy relationship between them.

Your children may have different temperaments, and they may argue over unnecessary things, but they still belong to one family. Conflicts may be inevitable, but when children are taught to work things out, they can constructively deal with negative emotions. And when they grow past these stages, sibling rivalry will only be a thing of the past.