Write me: rebecca@positive-parents.org

If you’re like me, you dreamed that your children would be best friends from the start. It’s both heartbreaking and frustrating when your children fight and squabble with each other, but there are things you can do (and not do) to help build their relationships with each other.

It can be easy to compare siblings. “Your brother was potty trained by now! Why are you being so difficult! “” Your sister doesn’t have these problems at school!” Sometimes these statements just bypass our brains and fly right out of our mouths, but they only serve to fuel rivalry. Even seemingly positive statements can have a negative consequence. “You are so much better at this than your sister” may seem like a compliment to the child you’re speaking to, but it still encourages a competition mindset. And of course favoring one child over another will always cause resentment. We inadvertently set them up for conflict with these unconscious habits.

If you want a peaceful home, then peace has to be made a priority. This means the children are absolutely not allowed to call names, be aggressive, or be rude to their siblings. When conflicts arise, I propose the peace circle. When 2 or more children argue, they should go to the peace circle (or table, rug, or couch), and here they are taught peaceful conflict resolution.

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