Family Life

The Most Effective Sibling Rivalry Solution

solving conflict between siblings parenting hack

Conflict Resolution is an art that takes some practice, but you can do it with these simple tips and end sibling rivalry.

Sometimes siblings fight. It’s inevitable really, I mean when people live together they get on each other’s nerves and it is up to us as parents to show our children how to resolve conflicts that arise in our homes.

I use this conflict resolution almost daily in my home and it works so well I just had to tell you about it. I KNOW it can help other parents out there who have multiple children.


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Conflict Management Is Important For Families

Learning to use conflict management tools is good for you, your relationships and your children too.

Conflict is a part of life. If your children can watch you work together with your spouse on solving a problem in a positive way, they learn valuable life skills such as how to negotiate and solve problems effectively.

By working on conflict management, you protect your children from the downsides of conflict.

Why Does Conflict Occur Between Siblings?

As children grow together, they tend to share interests and use the same toys.

Sometimes older children boss the little ones around due to the fact that they are simply older.

Having children close together is often very pleasant, however, there come situations when they spend a lot of time together and get on each other’s nerves. Whether it is big brother bossing little sister around, or little sister needing to play with big brother’s favourite truck, there will be conflict and lots of it.

Young children are not able to express their frustrations verbally and so, in turn, they act out by refusing to share, pushing, yelling or hitting their sibling.

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A Conflict Resolution Hack For Families

I have a simple solution that I use when my children come running up to me with a problem. I recently told a friend about it and she used it on her 11-year-old son. The results were magical.

Imagine your child running up to you in tears and shares that a sibling is being really mean to them.


My brother is being really mean to me and will not share the Nintendo Switch controller.

What should your response be as a parent?

I know I used to say something like “figure it out amongst yourselves, you need to learn to get along” and this turn of phrase got me nowhere.

It got me farther away from solving the problem, and I created an even more upset child with a not really caring attitude.

Children need to learn that their parents are there for them, and brushing them off like that breaks trust, a little bit every time.

So what would I do now in that situation?

Having some parenting experience under my belt I would calmly turn to my child and say:

1. Do you want to choose to solve this on your own?

2. Do you want to choose to have me come over and intervene? Or

3. Do you want to choose to walk away?”

happy girls - no sibling conflict here!

Why Giving Choices Like These Works To End Sibling Rivalry

By providing my child with choices in a heated situation rather than simply saying, deal with it on your own, I am giving direction to solve this conflict and letting my child learn the lesson so so he knows how to handle the situation next time.

Nine times out of ten, the response is ” I’ll choose to walk away, but I’m still mad”.

And that’s ok.

Children SHOULD feel their feelings. The important thing is the lesson you just taught with your calm reaction to the situation.

You can even respond with an agreeable tone to encourage the decision your child just made.

Good Job! You had the power to make that choice

Providing those clear choices for the kids teaches many lessons in any given conflict. You’re empowering your children to solve their problems by giving them the tools needed to do so.

This parenting hack is even more effective if used for all conflicts within the household. Having children hear this method being used will allow them to understand their options and have a more clear direction on which choice they should make.

To recap, you provide your child with 3 choices, solve it by yourself, have me come help, or walk away from the situation.

Try this sibling rivalry solution at home and watch your children become problem solvers in no time.

Resource Recommended For Struggling Parents

If you are tired of nagging and yelling, then this family connections guidebook is a must-read. This book even comes in paperback, Kindle, audiobook and CD and even Library binding.

I hold the paperback copy on my nightstand, it’s super powerful and easy to understand.

Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide (The Positive Parent Series)

Popular parenting blogger Rebecca Eanes believes that parenting advice should be about more than just getting kids to behave. Struggling to maintain a meaningful connection with her two little ones and frustrated by the lack of emotionally aware books for parents, she began to share her own insights with readers online. Her following has grown into a thriving community–hundreds of thousands strong. 

Get The Positive Parenting Guidebook!

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