3 Tips to Help Kids Get Along (plus extra tip)
Do your kids “hate” each other?
Hate is a strong word, but sometimes it’s the most accurate word…
In my case, my two boys were always fighting. From whenever they woke up ‘til they went to sleep.
My wife and I decided we had to fix this. She gets along with most of her siblings, but I can’t say the same for myself…
My brother lives 30 minutes away from us and I hardly see him, or my niece for that matter. And I don’t want that for my kids.
Disclaimer: This is not about forcing kids to love their brother. We understand they are different persons, and they don’t have to be best friends. They just have to respect each other and have some empathy.
Having said that, here’s what we found that helped the most:
Treat the kids the way you want them to treat each other.
This starts with not playing favorites. Ever.
Don’t encourage sibling rivalry by constantly comparing each child to one another
Also, don’t make one child responsible for the actions of the other, or they will feel resentful for life.
And ultimately, don’t come home and vent your work-related anger on them.
We want to give them a positive model for handling stress and learn to treat others right in real life.
Encourage them to find kid solutions to kid problems
Don't let them turn you into a referee, even when you find the conflict to be unnerving.
It's important for kids to learn problem-solving skills, like brainstorming some possible solutions for a conflict between them to see if they can live with a compromise, etc.
Basically, don’t let it get out of hand, but don’t micromanage their decisions.
This ties with the previous tip. If you get in the way it will seem like you are picking a favourite.
Spend time with everyone
This is time-consuming but extra important: spend time with them individually, but also as a family.
Make special time for each sibling individually. Be it talking, reading, or playing. This can include sports as well.
They can play in a team together, but they should have their individual sport as well where they go cheer their brother.
You can then make special time as a family, and even set up some time for them both to spend together (but remember, never in a babysitting function!).
Extra useful gadget.
For young kids, we found that something as simple as this special kids couch can work wonders for bonding.
It’s fun for them to play, create castles and spaceships, or just sit and watch a movie.
We don’t usually care about gadgets, but this is a great addition that both we and our children really love.
Check it out on this link: KidsCouch.ca
In conclusion: It’s easier than you think, but requires some patience. Remember to communicate with them clearly, give them some space and spend time doing fun stuff.