This fun activity will encourage siblings to get along. Print the sibling acts of kindness calendar to help spread the love & stop the sibling fighting.
Fun Activities to Encourage Siblings to Get Along
It’s natural for kids to disagree and argue.
(At least that’s what I’ve read in all my parenting books and that’s what I remind myself.)
A little banter back and forth isn’t bad, but when my kids are screaming at each other, slinging names to hurt the other or even pushing the other person, that’s when I have to step in and help them hit the restart button.
Every child feels they play a different role in the family.
The athletic one.
The one good at school.
The funny one.
The free thinker.
The problem? Kids start believing these unstated roles are to who they are, and who their siblings are. This is what creates resentment, jealousy and sibling rivalry.
When we place our kids in these roles – and they believe them deep in their hearts – it can inadvertently create hardships between our children, and that’s the last thing we want for them as parents.
–> Download Your Sibling Acts of Kindness Calendar using the link at the bottom of this article. I guarantee this activity will help siblings to get along!
How can you Teach Siblings to Get Along?
The first step of helping siblings get along is to stop assigning them roles whether aloud or in your head, and breaking up the existing roles siblings believe of each other.
For example, my son has challenging behavior and he thinks of himself as a troublemaker, as do his siblings. Yes, we have more talks with him and get more calls from school about his behavior, but he’s also incredibly athletic, a smart and has a very soft, caring side. We’ll often find him making arts and crafts or building things to give to other people, especially if they’re feeling sad or left out.
Instead of thinking of his as being “hard” or a “troublemaker” I spend my time focusing on his strengths and don’t label his challenging qualities.
His true superpowers are his determination, his strong will, desire to persevere, his compassion, and kindness towards others, and ability to retain information and recall it years later exactly as he’s read it (and I’ve clearly forgotten it.)
Our little neighbor joined us for a walk the other day and my son was off zig zagging across the trail and not listening to his Dad or I tell him to watch out for other people and bikers on the trail. I was becoming frustrated he wasn’t listening, but Rowan said, “Trenton is really adventurous” and her statement stopped me.
Instead of seeing his behavior as irritating or that he wasn’t listening, she pointed out a strong characteristics of his and flipped the negative into a positive without thinking twice.
This is exactly how you break silent role stereotypes.
When labels are used between siblings, you can use this tactic to stop the language and point out their strengths for everyone to see how to pivot and find the positive.
As parents, we can help siblings get along.
When we are able to notice labeled roles each person plays in their family, and work to change them, we can encourage stronger sibling connections by removing this one part of the puzzle that causes resentment towards one another.
Children are always jockeying to be the “golden child” in their parent’s eyes. Sibling rivalry is really one child trying to get a foothold over the other.
However, when you use the same rules, the same consequences and equal and fair time with each of your child, it’s hard for them to find a difference in treatment from one child to another.
Sure, you’ll have times when one child is acting better, or feels easier, than the other, but you have to be mindful of your body language and the language you use so the other kids don’t use this as a power play and
How can You Help Resolve a Sibling Conflict?
I’ve tried everything when it comes to resolving sibling conflict. I’ve tried teaching them how to communicate, letting them work it out, using empathy, being a referee, time-outs and even punishment.
Nothing has worked as well as this four-step process I implemented to help resolve sibling spats. Here’s what to do when sibling fighting is going down at home, at your in-laws, in public or anywhere else.
- Pull the two siblings aside to a quiet space / corner / different room
- Use the mutual understanding tool. This is where each person shares something they want the other person to know.
- Ask one child, “what do you want _________ to know?” and let them share so they feel heard by the other person. The other person cannot speak or interrupt while their sibling is talking.
- Then, ask the other child, “what do you want _________ to know?” repeating the step above.
- Then go back to the first child and ask them, “is that it?” and allow them additional time to share.
- Repeat this question with the second child asking them, “is that it??”
- Now you ask each child to play back what they heard their other sibling share. You can ask the listening child, “is that what you wanted them to hear?” to make sure they gathered all the information.
- Next is for the siblings to work together to create a plan.
- Ask them, “does anyone have ideas on how you can forward from this?” and let them come up with ideas.
- When they come to a mutual agreement, you can make sure everyone agrees by asking, “is this an idea everyone can live with?” and then move on.
My Favorite Activity to Encourage Sibling Kindness (and just to help them to get along!)
We have this printable (you can download it right below here in a second) hanging on a cabinet near their work station and actively encourage our kids to do nice things for one another.
This printable can help in your house too.
Simply print it out (it’s a standard 8.5 x 11” piece of paper you’ll receive in PDF format), talk to your kids about how to use the calendar (whether it’s aiming to do something nice once a week or once a day for one another), and bring it up in conversations when they ask for something to or say they’re bored.
More Sibling Resources:
- How to Stop Sibling Fighting: Why Your Kids Need You to be a Sports Announcer, Not a Referee
- Sibling Rivalry: 10 Magic Tips to Help Siblings Get Along
- Sibling Rivalry: Create a Loving Bond Between Your Kids
- Stop Sibling Fighting Using a Positive Approach
- 6 Sibling Christmas Traditions: For Kids to Delight in the Excitement of the Holidays Together
- 6 Positive Parenting Techniques to Use Rather Than Yelling