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Siblings
Siblings at fight! How to handle...

One of the most common issues of concern for parents are children’s relationships, especially with their sibling. Whether it's friends or siblings, sometimes there will be conflicts and anger that often result in "battles" and are very common in every home and  in every place  where there is more than one child.

This is a very common phenomenon "the quarrels of brothers", and is sometimes viewed as a weird behavior by parents and adults in general, and even teachers. It has been proven that most of the times adult intervention unfortunately increases competition and in addition cultivates the causes of conflict, instead of resolving it.

Often parents wonder what's wrong and their child, or what have they done wrong that doesn’t inspire love and affection towards each other. While feeling guilty parent tend to just want to stop the fighting, instead to finding the root and the cause.   The point is not to stop just to fighting.

This can be easily manipulated and misleading especially in young children. The point is not to just make them stop fighting but the challenge is to deal more with the reason of the and not the fight itself.

You firstly need to ask yourself, why do my children think they need to fight? Don’t rush into making quick conclusions!

Are they fighting because they think that is only way to victory or maybe because they feel pain and frustration and want the other one to feel the same? Or maybe are they just kidding around and this their way for them to feel more confident in themselves? Whatever it is, we need to understand that this behavior, as indeed any type of behavior has obvious and hidden reason that it might be happening, so it is good for us to take the time and figure the reasons why.

It is not always easy for someone who is not familiar with techniques and ways to diagnose and interpret children reactions. Nor, at the end of the day, is it helpful to ask the child to explain the reason of the fight! I am not doubting that children are able to identify the basic reason they are disagreeing, but what I am saying is that a child cannot identify the deeper reason of this fight. One thing is certain. Whether the true reason is obvious or not, fighting is wrong.
What is certain is that we need to change their way of facing disagreements, and help children find solutions through other options. This is achieved to a large extent using the following precepts.

1. Don’t take sides. This strengthens competition.

2. Give them the option to split for a while going into different rooms until they are  willing to try to reach an agreement without quarrel. This can help to handle the feeling of the moment, such as anger.

3. Give them the option to stop the fight or go elsewhere (in another room) to continue. Emphasize that in any case you do not want to hear a fight.

4. Leave the room. Believe it or not one main goal of their fight is to get you take sides. So don’t get involved.

5. If there is risk of injury you need to intervene without saying much.

6. If they are arguing for  a game remove the game and say firmly that it will be given back to them when they decide to cooperate

7. During some quiet family time, discuss the matter and ask the children to share their ideas on why kids fight, why they might fight and what alternatives exist.

8. Never compare.
Ensure you behave the same to your children regardless of their age. Don’t say things like:  Let's stop this now "you are the big brother, or, he is smaller than you and doesn’t understand”. This just reinforces the possibility for a child to feel like a "victim" and "victimizer."

9. Develop an atmosphere of cooperation, encouraging children to participate in solutions for problems that occur and relate to the whole family.

10. Remember that sometimes quarrels and disagreements work as a game for kids.

In any case, do not exaggerate situations you experience.


Brothers and sisters that argue during childhood, doesn’t necessarily mean that they will argue when they grow up. They don’t fight because they don’t love each other; they just fight because they still haven’t learned a better way to resolve their issues. 

Quarrels between brothers and sisters especially at a young age are part of the normal process of investigating and understanding their limits, which is essential during childhood. The limits need to be identified, and through these challenges children are educated in boundaries in the secure environment of their family.

(Erato Chatzimichalaki, Family Advisor, article from Flow magazine)

Translated by: Εducational Service Centre, All about Children

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