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5 Ways to Help Your Children Get Along with Each Other

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My two oldest girls were like water and oil growing up. They saw life differently and since they were only fourteen months apart, they conflicted often. One was creative and impulsive. The other responsible and rigid. Each needed something from the other. I had to develop some creative ideas to help them discover that they were a powerful team together. Eventually, they were able to see that each member of the family added to the good of the whole. They both added value in a different way.  Here are some tips and lessons to help teach your children to not only get along with each other but to value each other as well.

team talk1. We are all on the same team.

Teach them that family is one unit and the value of the whole. Give them a sense of belonging to something great. We used to tell our kids, “We are Barbers and we are tough, giving, respectful, etc”. This helped them see that they are special and that they belong. Refer to the family in the concept of team. “We are going to volunteer together to do____.” “We believe___.” “Our core values are____.”

2. Give them each a voice.

Make sure they feel heard and understood. At dinnertime give each person an opportunity to share their highlight of the day. Celebrate together each other’s successes. Empathize together in their struggles. Have a night where everyone takes turns sharing what they appreciate about each other one person at a time.

3. Mediate instead of solving the conflict.

Resist settling disagreements yourself in order to bring peace quickly. Get each child to hear the other express their frustration. Ask clarifying questions to help them convey clearly what they need to have heard. Being the mediator means you help them communicate to each other and come to compromises both can live with.

4. Model healthy conflict resolution in your marriage.

It’s good for kids to see their parents work through minor disagreements with each other and come to healthy compromises. {Tweet This} Never argue about the kids in front of them or about major issues. But minor skirmishes like how you dislike the way they squeeze the toothpaste or the inconvenience of waiting for 15 minutes longer than you wanted are helpful.

5. Do projects together.

If you have two kids who typically have difficulty with sibling rivalry, assign them a project to work on together with you. Make sure it involves problem-solving and that you don’t do all the solving for them. Some ideas might be to plant a garden, build a birdhouse or other project, buy Dad a birthday gift, a lemonade stand, or make dinner for the family. Help them see how working together benefits the outcome.

What is one project you can do with your kids that will help them develop teamwork?


What do you do when someone is mad at you?

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