4 Actionable Ways to Manage Sibling Rivalry

4 Actionable Ways to Manage Sibling Rivalry

Seeing the young ones shout, quarrel and bicker, now and then, can wear parents down. When words like “I won’t spare her” echo in the living room, the first thought that comes to your mind is to send your children to the child care center. Relentless tension builds up as the fight continues, derailing the rest of your day.


Don’t lose heart when you face such a situation because you’re not alone. Don’t intervene and take sides either. This could make matters worse as taking sides will increase the resentment of the kids. Instead, take these actionable measures to break the cycle of sibling rivalry and create peace & harmony in your house.

1. Opt For Separation

The best way to manage sibling rivalry is to separate the children who are involved in the tussle. Parents can utilize room dividers and similar items to break up the rivalry as well as increase privacy for both siblings. What you’re essentially doing is minimizing the faceoff between the kids; sometimes siblings fight in each other’s presence. Set specific rules related to the divided space. For instance, you can give a small punishment to the child who invades the other’s space without your permission.

2. Treat Children Fairly

Comparing one kid to the other would just increase the sibling rivalry. No one likes to be second best, and comparison may cause one of the kids to feel insufficient. Instead of making comparisons, mention what each of them excels at, and praise their good behavior to others. Concentrate on the good traits of both siblings. Additionally, you can spend a few minutes with each sibling every day and give them attention. Discuss what causes them to fight; perhaps the problem is easier to address than you imagined initially.

3. Reinforce Responsibility

Since children have an immature nature, the best way to manage a sibling rivalry is to define maturity further. You can ask questions like “how would you feel if me and dad fought with each other day in and day out?” and say things like “I’d be angry too if your aunt took my shoes without my permission, but I wouldn’t hit her physically. Instead, I’d remain calm and ask her the reason for not seeking my permission before leaving.” Facilitate the children towards resolving their fight, and tell them that they’re responsible for the safety of each other. Invite, train, and encourage your kids towards mature behavior and taking responsibility of one another.

4. Team Them Up

Make the kids who are fighting work together as a team. Tell them that they don’t have to fight all the time. Teaming them up will help them recognize the importance of each other as well as value the relationship they hold with one another. When siblings work together as teammates to achieve a specific goal, instead of competing with each other as opponents, they help each other

out naturally. Parents can give children certain tasks to do as a team and have a rewards system in place to increase motivation. For instance, you can give them more playtime for cleaning up the table within 30 minutes of dinner. It’s easy when they’re helping each other.

With these tips, you’d significantly reduce sibling grudges and fights.


  1. These are all great ideas. Our three kids love to argue and it drives me crazy!

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