It starts with picking. It moves on to bickering. From there, with the right buttons pushed, mom has been brought in on the scene.
If you have more than one child, you recognize this as…..dun---ta-dun-dun…. sibling rivalry. It’s the source of many hair-pulling days. Left unattended, it can become the ending to one of your child’s best lifetime friendships.
In our home, with so many children, this sort of behavior came often. One day, I decided to lighten the mood a bit, and try to teach something at the same time. After too many warnings, I tied Andrew and Erin together, wrist-to-wrist. I told them they would have to learn to cooperate together and when they were getting along and choosing to love one another, I would release their bonds. They were probably around 8 and 10.
At first, they would just sit down. But, soon, they would decide to try something together. Then, it became a game.
If you ask them, they’ll tell you they just pretended to cooperate and get along so I'd untie them. But, I knew when they had gotten past their bickering. Their smiles had returned.
I used this technique with several other sibling pairs. Sometimes, it was over quickly. Others, depending on their stubbornness level, took several hours.
Overcoming sibling rivalry takes work and more work, prayer and more prayer. It is only ended when each child has a change of heart and chooses to love. (hang in there) ; )
What are your techniques for dealing with sibling rivalry?
Tomorrow, we’ll deal with bossing other siblings.
What are some other parenting issues you’d like to see discussed here?