According to the Mayo Clinic, occasional bickering and name-calling prove that a child is learning to speak up for themselves. Excess confrontations or physical violence, however, can affect the whole family. Constant fighting causes emotional rifts that erode relationships. Anger and resentment spread through a family like fire, claiming the peace of other members. Frequent fighting may be hiding a more serious issue. Sibling bullying affects self-confidence in younger children that can continue into their adult years. How can parents help children learn to resolve interpersonal conflicts without verbal or physical violence?
Teach independence. If a child knows he doesn’t have to play with another to be happy, they are more likely to walk away when conflict starts. Solo play gives children the opportunity to understand themselves and their needs better. This leads to clearer verbal communication and less fighting.
Sibling rivalry is more than a family issue. The abilities to compromise, cooperate, and communicate are skills they will need through life. Motivate your child to use positive interpersonal skills outside of the home. Model desired behaviors by treating other adults in your community with respect. Ask for your child’s opinion when possible, so they know their thoughts are important. Encourage children to use conflict resolution skills with peers.
Helping your children learn healthy ways to express their needs and resolve differences takes patience, time, and consistency. It’s tough, but the effort you put into sharing positive interpersonal skills with your young ones will continue to bring them countless benefits as they grow.Back To Top