Managing Sibling Relationships

18th June 2020 No Comments

All of the enforced time at home recently has resulted in some shifts in the relationships between the three children in the house. This has been interesting to observe and lockdown has offered  me a really unique opportunity to watch how their interactions change with each other day/week in and out.

Usually in our house the boys gang up with the girl. However, times are changing and thanks to a series of ‘sleepovers’ and camp-outs for Guiding and Cub Scout badges Fifi and little Ned have forged a nice bond recently.

I cant say our household has been particularly harmonious but there are a few pieces of advice or tips I can offer:

Let the fights happen

An essential part of growing up and learning how to interact with others is to learn how to manage conflict and how to control your emotions. My kids are certainly doing that but i’ve tried really hard not to get too involved. Tomorrow is another day (or for the big grudge bearers next week) and things blow over but lessons have been learnt.

Don’t assume loyalties between children

It can be really easy to assume whats happening in a situation and which side a child will take. This can go really badly wrong. Much better to assume none of them like each other and work from there!

Don’t take it personally

Until fairly recently I really wanted all my kids to get on with each other and I tried really hard to encourage them to play together and interact nicely with each other. I’d intervene in fights and try hard to ensure ‘fairness’. I wanted them all to like each other and to be ‘best friends’ for the rest of their lives. What I have learnt is that all children and different, all situations are different and that everyone is an individual with a different perspective on a situation. As a mother it isn’t your problem if they don’t get on and what ever has happened certainly isn’t your fault. You’ve done your best and unless they all come to serious blows its better to stand back and let it all play out in time.

I’d love to hear any tips and advice you have.

Claire Walsh

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