How to Handle Problems with Siblings

If you have siblings, disputes can arise at any point of your life. Children do not understand the value of relationship, therefore fighting is a common phenomenon. As the children become teens, jealousy and sense of competition outgrows. Jealousy and sense of competition prompt teen sibling disputes. Even adults have bad relationship with siblings. Adult sibling dispute, or sibling rivalry, is caused by something bad that happened earlier in the life, or due to recent happenings.

You must make your children aware about what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior.
You must make your children aware about what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior. | Source

Use reward and punishment techniques to stop children fighting. Reward them when they follow your instructions, such as taking them for outings, or giving them a new toy. As a punishment, don’t allow them to use the computer, TV or the toy.

Sibling fighting may be normal phenomena in a household, however, it may result to bad consequences. Consult a specialist if the aggression in your children is very high. Too much aggression could point to the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.

In the meanwhile, you can also talk to other people who face similar problem.

You must treat your children according to their age. Don’t expect a kid to understand everything.
You must treat your children according to their age. Don’t expect a kid to understand everything. | Source

How to Handle Problems with Siblings: For Parents

  • Fighting maybe verbal or physical, but in any case you have to don a moderator’s role.
  • You must make your children aware about what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior.
  • When you see your children fighting, don’t overreact. Be calm and separate them. Don’t talk to them until they have cooled down.
  • Listen to the different versions of the story, but don’t take sides even though you find one of your children is at fault.
  • Tell your older child to love and care his/her younger brother/sister. Tell your younger child to respect his/her older sibling.
  • You must treat your children according to their age. Don’t expect a kid or teenager to understand everything.
  • Comparison is bad, but if you need to compare your children just point out the good things they both have.
  • If your children do not get along together, don’t make them do something together. This will only ensue fighting.
  • Try to find out the cause of fighting. When you know the reason, you can avoid the situation.
  • If your children are fighting over the same thing such as TV, computer, book or toy, tell them they cannot use it until they agree to use it together.
  • If your children begin to blame the other, tell them they both are at fault because one cannot clap with one hand.
  • Don’t let your older child to get away with everything, and don’t let your younger child take advantage of his young age.

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Differences in performance in education, life skills and income lead to jealousy, which is the main cause of teen sibling disputes.
Differences in performance in education, life skills and income lead to jealousy, which is the main cause of teen sibling disputes. | Source

How to Handle Problems with Siblings: For Teens

Don’t fight over petty issues. If you want to have same thing at the same time, give your sibling first chance. Later, you can claim your rights because you had already given your sibling his/her chance.

Try to help your siblings in his/her chores. If you help your brother or sister, he/she will surely return you the favor. Helping each other will definitely sort out differences, or douse any possible disputes.

Don’t try to take advantage of your sibling in what so manner. If you know something intimidating about your sibling, don’t ridicule him/her. Don’t make him/her feel down because of your behavior.

Don’t be nosy. Give your sibling his/her moment of privacy. Don’t inquire about his/her business, until your sibling is not ready to share with you.

Don’t pass your hasty judgments over your sibling’s affair. If you think the guy/girl is not right for your sibling, wait for the right moment to express your thoughts. Don’t be harsh while passing your judgments.

If your sibling shares with you about his/her relationship and wants you to maintain secrecy, always do so. Try to be your sibling’s confidante. You do not get a second chance to be trusted.

If your sibling has a problem, listen to him/her. Try to give the best possible advice. Likewise, if you come across a problem, ask for advice.

Competition for parental love, attention and favor is one of the causes of teen sibling rivalry.
Competition for parental love, attention and favor is one of the causes of teen sibling rivalry. | Source

How to Handle Teen Sibling Disputes: For Parents

If you are raising teens, you have to be aware that jealousy is very common. Differences in performance in education, life skills and income lead to jealousy, which is the main cause of teen sibling disputes. Your biased treatment and comparison between the children may lead to severe consequences.

Competition for parental love, attention and favor is another cause of teen sibling rivalry. Attention seeking is natural, and what is unnatural is unfair treatment of children based on his/her performance at school or home. Give fair treatment to your children.

If your sibling has been offended by your unintentional action, ask for apology. If your sibling has been mean to you, forgive him/her. Self-pride is good thing, but when it comes to sibling relationship, do not nurture your self-pride.

If you are fighting too much, try to handle the situation coolly after you both have cooled down. Don’t hesitate to say “I’m Sorry” and “ I love you.” These simple words can do miracles.

If your sibling talks or does something rude to you, ignore him/her instead of taking to your heart. When you continue to ignore your sibling’s mean behavior, one day you will find, he/she has stopped being difficult to you.

Don’t ever talk bad about your sibling with anyone, even parents. If you don’t agree with your siblings way, tell on his/her face. At first, your sibling could be furious, but later he/she will understand you.

You may be jealous of your sibling because of his/her performance at school, or parent’s preference. You may not good at what your sibling is best, but there are definitely other areas where you can perform better than your sibling.

If you think your sibling as a competitor, you maybe feel envious. Never think your sibling as your competitor. Try to find a common interest and enjoy together.

Friends come and go, but your siblings will always be your siblings. If you work rightly at this moment, your sibling will definitely become best friend forever.

There are five different types of sibling relationships: intimate, congenial, loyal, apathetic, and hostile.
There are five different types of sibling relationships: intimate, congenial, loyal, apathetic, and hostile. | Source

Help your sibling

In the times that are hard and challenging, be ready to help your siblings. If you are in difficult situations, get in touch with your siblings. Always work in tandem. Never criticize your siblings’ shortcomings.

Forgiveness and apology

Even though you may have problems with siblings, do something nice for your brother or sister whenever you get a chance. Give importance to actions more than the words. “I care for you,” will mean nothing to your siblings unless you show your goodness. Forgiveness and apology play very important role in sibling relationship. Forgive your siblings and ask for apologies. Don’t make hasty judgments when your sibling does not reciprocate.

How to Handle Adult Sibling Disputes

Understand the type of sibling relationship

There are five different types of sibling relationships: intimate, congenial, loyal, apathetic, and hostile. If you are intimate, congenial and loyal to your siblings, you have healthy relationships with your siblings. However, if you are apathetic or hostile, you have to address the problems with your siblings properly.

Get to the root of sibling disputes

Were you were a child, or a teenager, when the sibling disputes began? Is it a recent phenomenon? Sibling disputes that begin in childhood or teens most of the time are because of silly reasons. Try to remember the causes of dispute.

Understand the situation

Try to think about the situation you and your siblings are now. Perhaps you or your sibling is going through difficult situations. Most of the sibling disputes that continue until adulthood begin during the time of puberty. The situation you or your siblings are now is not going to last long, but you and your siblings are.

Iron the differences

As a child and teenager, you lived under the same roof, so it is natural to have differences with your siblings. Perhaps your siblings had hurt you intentionally, or unintentionally. Maybe you were at fault. However, you must not give much importance to the disputes you had with your siblings early in your life. Past is gone, if you don’t act in the present, you will have embittered relationship with your siblings in the future.

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Act now

It is necessary to maintain healthy relationship with siblings for mental health and quality of life. If you don’t act now, you will probably never be able to patch the sibling disputes. In order to handle problems with siblings, you have to get in touch with your siblings, forget bad memories and brood on sanguine future.

Share and care

Share your life’s experience with your sibling. Be ready to listen to your siblings’ thoughts. When you share, you automatically begin to care for your siblings. Remember, never talk about negative things. Instead, talk about the fun you both had earlier in your life.

Don’t patronize

If you are older, don’t be patronizing. Your brother or sister is grown up, he/she has own opinion about life and the world. You can give suggestions, but don’t expect your siblings to implement your suggestions. If you are younger, be ready to listen to your brother or sister. Respect his/her opinion.

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Comments 8 comments

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

An all too common problem and your hints are great Vinaya. Voting up as always.

Enjoy your weekend.

Eddy.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal Author

Bill

Frank

Always Exploring

Faith

Agusfanani

Tillsontitan

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on sibling relationship. I have a brother and two sisters, as a child I had issues with my siblings, we still have, however, as an adult, I have congenial relationship.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Splendid! You've covered a lot of territory here and it is all worthwhile. I agree with Frank, all young parents should be reading this. I can remember when my kids were fighting I would go to bed at night and cry saying they will grow up hating each other. I persevered and now as adults they are all good friends.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 3 years ago from Indonesia

Wise tips. Those tips give very positive values to resolve problems among family members which place a mediator in a fair position to avoid hostility.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Really great advice here, Vinaya!

I am the oldest of four siblings, two sisters and one brother. Growing up, we did okay until near high school.

Now, we are great, except some issues with my youngest sister, but you have given some great tips. We must always forgive no doubt and move on, as this life is so short. Love is the only answer.

Voted up +++ and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

You always give good, sound advice. Thank you Vinaya...


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

Great Hub Vin.. this is a must read for young married people who plan on having children too.. great share my friend :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great suggestions. I never had this problem as my sister was eleven years old than me, and my son is an only child. Good tips here, Vinaya!

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