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Sibling rivalry: How to help your kids get on

Sibling rivalry can mean that your kids just don't get on - it isn't an easy thing to deal with...but this should help with some great ideas on how to deal with it - in graphical form to so even I get it!
Two girls in conflict via Shutterstock

Siblings are meant to be built-in best friends for life, from cradle to grave, but even siblings who love each other dearly can fall prey to sibling rivalry. When two children constantly bicker and compete with each other (and I have had my fair share of it in my own house ;-) )it can cause disruption for the entire household. So how do you stop the fighting and find your way back to a peaceful home? While there is no quick fix for sibling rivalry (which has been around since Cain and Able), there some things you can do to help children get along:

What can you do when rivalry erupts?

Rivalry between siblings is inevitable!  I’m currently having to deal with it right now in my household as I write this! ;-) That endless bickering that goes on and on is enough to drive you insane but how is best to overcome it?  I tend to ignore it which is a challenge amongst itself but if you can leave your children to fight it out between themselves, they have learnt conflict resolution.  Intervention may be necessary if it turns physical but do try not to step in unless it is absolutely necessary (or you have run out of rooms to hide in)

Teach your kids how to manage their emotions

Helping your children to understand theirs and other emotions will help them to regulate their behaviour.  By responding calmly instead of being angsty to their siblings, they will soon learn they will get a better outcome.

Teach negotiation skills

Negotiation is something we all need to learn for the adult world and starting off at a young age will make sure these skills are developed early on.   Encourage your children to take turns with toys such “you can have this ball for 5 minutes and then I will have it for 5 minutes” or ” I really want that so I will trade you with this, this and this”

Nurture bonding

Strengthen the family early on so that hostility and rivalry does not get to rear its ugly head.  Devote the same, individual time to each child so that the other does not feel like the other is loved more.  Work as a family unit but celebrate individuality .. each child is different and should be recognised as so. When your kids are playing happily together, do not interrupt; instead encourage laughter and fun in your household.  Happy family = happy home.

There are plenty more hints and tips in the following infographic from A Fine Parent.

How to Effectively Deal With Sibling Rivalry (via

The image is an infographic on "How to Effectively Deal with Sibling Rivalry," with advice for parents and illustrations of children and a person.

Do you have more than one child?  Do they get on?  Did you get on with your own siblings? Share your sibling rivalry stories with us.

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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Tuesday 1st of September 2015

Lots of helppful information here. I'm a firm believer in helping children to work through their differences and not just leaving them to sort it out. That's not to say I interfere all the time but I won't let things escalate out of control.

Lucy Dorrington

Saturday 29th of August 2015

My children are ten years apart, so the only risk we have is over-mothering! Looks like a great book though, some fab advice!


Saturday 29th of August 2015

Such an informative post! We endured this loads growing up!!

Clare aka Emmy's Mummy

Friday 28th of August 2015

Great tips. Mine do bicker and fight a lot


Thursday 27th of August 2015

I wish these worked for my two, but as they are competitive and only a year apart in age, they struggle

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