If you feel like you are constantly a referee in the UFC octagon pulling one kid off of another or playing negotiator between your teens/tweens who can’t seem to ever agree on anything – you are not alone!
We all recognize that siblings arguing and fighting is completely normal – but we shouldn’t have to deal with it every day. Much of sibling friction can actually stem from jealousy and there are a few ways we can be proactive before it rears its ugly head again 😉
- When an important event like a sports tournament, music recital, showcase or birthday is coming up and you know one of your kids will be receiving more attention from you, plan ahead. Take some time a week or so in advance and have a 1:1 conversation with your kid(s) who won’t be participating and are likely getting shuttled around to the event. In this conversation, give them the opportunity to share and use reflections and open ended questions to help them process their feelings.
This can look like: It’s hard when your brother is playing in a tournament and all of the focus is on him. What do you need in order to feel like you are a part of the day too?
- Plan something special with each of your tweens/teens every few months. If you have multiple kids at different ages, it’s really important to give them that 1:1 time doing an activity that they enjoy! The important conversations typically occur during these 1:1 times, rather than at the family dinner table or in the car with all of their siblings. Life is busy and schedules fill up easily, scheduling 1:1 time with your tweens/teens can be part of the fun and anticipation!
Every family dynamic is different, but the important thing is that you are talking about this with your kids! What other things have you done to manage sibling jealousy?