“Stop Fighting!” Four Books to Help Parents Find Peace at Home
What starry-eyed parent-to-be doesn’t dream of children who play nicely together, brothers and sisters who will back each other up, siblings who will be one another’s person.
Then child number two arrives home. And reality hits.
The once sweet toddler becomes grumpy and extra demanding—especially during baby’s feeding time. A couple of years later, crying fits have morphed into shouting matches, and the lines “He’s not sharing!” or “She hit me!” become frequent refrains. In adolescence, bickering and teasing can become downright combative, with raging hormones adding fuel to the fire. At all ages, siblings are competing for attention, power, and control.
Sibling rivalry may well be inevitable; it is certainly common. But surely, not all kids go at it like yours do, right? Is there any way to make it better?
Of course, how close siblings are in age, and the basics of personality play into it, but there are a few rivalry red flags that shouldn’t be ignored:
If the fighting is…
- almost constant.
- damaging to self-esteem and confidence.
- damaging to the relationship with the sibling and/or the parent(s).
- ongoing over the years.
The relationship your children have with each other may be the longest relationship they have in their lives
The relationship your children have with each other may be the longest relationship they have in their lives. As such, teaching siblings to value and respect each other is a worthwhile endeavor. Siblings who navigate rivalry in a healthy way learn tolerance, conflict management skills, and the ability to share. And they gain a life-long friend in the process.
Whether you are thinking long-term, or simply going crazy right now with your kids’ fighting, here are some books that can help break the exasperating patterns of sibling rivalry.