How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry

When kids are fighting, arguing and just simply not getting along, it creates a rough time for all. Adults usually tell them to “get along or don’t play together.” Sound familiar?

Here is some food for thought …

  • What if sibling rivalry was nothing more than an opportunity to learn?
  • What if arguing with our siblings was “practice?”
  • What if mom and/or dad (or grandma or another caretaker) could utilize those opportunities to teach communication skills?


As children grow up, they realize more and more how different they are from other people. This is actually a good thing ~ having their own identity. When children are very young and realize it for the first time, they get really excited about this. It’s actually fun to watch this discovery phase in their life.

When kids are fighting over things, many times it’s just their lack of really getting that the world doesn’t revolve around them and there are other people who have needs and wants too. They don’t fight to get on our nerves. They don’t fight to be mean. The problem is that they simply haven’t developed the skill set for creating win/win situations yet. They think in terms of win/lose. That’s where the “opportunity” shows up. We get to teach these communication skills to our children!

The next time your kids are fighting about something, sit down with them eye-to-eye, and let them know you are there to help resolve this challenge. Give each of them an opportunity to share their side of the story. What is their truth? Once you have heard both sides, point out that there is no right or wrong; there are just differences. Explain that the key is “HOW do we make it a win/win?” Be creative. Teaching kids the “how to” about communication in childhood allows them to tap into their empathy, compassion, forgiveness, love, giving, and receiving ~ EARLY in their lives. There are so many benefits to gently walking children through this process of communication.

When you stop for a minute, regroup, and sit down to listen to your kids and support them in growing through this process, you will be AMAZED at what you see. I have done this with my own children for years and have found that it is truly a gift for them to learn these skills. It is also a gift for US to watch this miracle occur, of empowering children in this way!

Enjoy the fun of watching who they become!

Traci Williams is the Founder of A Loving Way to Parent. She is known for her practical parenting style. To schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation, contact Traci directly at 951-240-1407 or

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