Publication date August 4, 2023
How to Get Your Children to Get Along With Each Other
When you have more than one child, it’s almost inevitable that they are going to fight and compete with one another. But although it probably drives you crazy, it’s normal – and healthy too, believe it or not.
But sometimes it can cross the line from “normal” to “too much.” So, there are some things that you need to know so that your kids will get along better – and not just during their childhood, but also when they get into adulthood too. Just follow these tips.
The earlier you start, the better
It’s best to start helping your kids get along when they are very young. So, if you have babies, toddlers, or younger children, then this is great news for you. Even if you have older children – or even teenagers – it’s never too late. But start as early as you can. Tell them how important it is for them to get along and love each other.
Be a good role model for them
You have to realize that it all starts with you. So, you should look at your own behavior and communication skills. What kind of things are you teaching them through your actions? You can’t expect your kids to have the behavior you want them to have if you aren’t showing them how to behave by modeling it for them. Children mimic their parents’ behaviors more than they listen to their words.
Tell them that they aren’t the only one in the family (or the world)
Children are inherently selfish. Because of this, they want what they want when they want it. But that’s not how the world works. Selfish people aren’t liked by others very much. So, you must teach them that they are not the center of the universe, and they can’t always get what they want. They should have empathy for one another.
Teach them how to give an apology – and receive one too
Many people have a problem apologizing to others for some reason. They probably think of it as a weakness. But it’s not. So, teach your kids to apologize for their actions. And you also have to remind them that the best apology comes with changing their behavior and not doing it again. Tell them that if all they are going to say is “I’m sorry,” but then they’re going to keep doing what they were doing, then it’s not really an apology. Teach them that actions speak louder than words.
Don’t speak badly about other people
Everyone gets angry at other people from time to time – it’s natural. But if say negative things about others around your children, they will pick up on this behavior and end up doing it themselves. So, make sure you always say positive things about other people, so you don’t model bad or critical language in front of your children.
Have a family dinner routine
Unfortunately, in this day and age, family dinners are somewhat rare. But research shows that having regular family dinners allows everyone to talk and communicate. So, you can foster positive communication by going around the table and asking everyone to say something good about every other family member. Make this a habit.
Source: Focus on the family
Encourage them to say “I love you” to each other
Not all families are naturally affectionate, but it’s never too late to start saying “I love you” and encouraging hugs. Make sure the family greets each other with a hug every time they see each other – and when they say goodbye. Using positive, loving words and gestures helps create emotional bonds.
Make sure they know that they are a team
You need to teach them to have a “we” mentality, and not just a “me” mentality. As we said earlier, kids are inherently selfish. So, you have to socialize your kids out of this “me” way of looking at the world. Remind then that the yare team, as is the whole family. You are not in competition with one another, but rather you should all work together for everyone’s benefit, not just their own.
Teach them how to solve arguments
Most people don’t have good conflict management skills. So, you should first start looking at your own (and your spouse/partner’s too). How do you handle arguments? Do you yell and scream at each other? Or do you work out problems lovingly and logically? If you don’t have good conflict management skills yourself, you should first start working on that (or at least don’t have arguments in front of the children). Teach them positive ways to work through their conflicts so they don’t feel a need to compete with one another.
Source: Woman's Day
Don’t show favoritism
Sometimes it’s natural for a mother to have a favorite child (or even more than one). It’s not good to admit that, but it’s true. But even if you do have a favorite child, don’t show it to any of the kids – not even your favorite.
Encourage the children to recognize and praise everyone’s accomplishments
If one of your children got straight A’s or another won an award on their soccer team, have all the kids congratulate each and say they’re proud of them. Even if one or more of the children isn’t accomplishing as much as another sibling, you can still keep encouraging them to keep trying their best. They are all different and unique, so everyone in the family should be proud of everyone else.
Make sure they buy each other presents
Whether it’s for birthdays, Christmas, or some other holiday your family celebrates, have them buy each other presents. Yes, it will be work for you because you will have to pay for the presents and put in effort yourself. But this just lets them know that it’s important to remember their siblings on special occasions. Teach them that it’s important to give to their loved ones.
Source: University of Cambridge
Teach them personal boundaries
Make sure they respect each other’s space and possessions. It’s important to teach your children personal boundaries. When boundaries are crossed, that’s usually when it becomes an argument. Sometimes people need their alone time. And if they want to play with a sibling’s toy or borrow some of their clothes, they need to ask first. Remind them that it’s not alright to “take” things and cross boundaries without it creating problems.
As sad as it is, after you’re gone, they will only have each other. That’s why it’s important to teach your children to get along so that later in life they will eventually be friends. Plus, in the meantime, you will help save your sanity by having them get along better.
It’s never too late to start teaching your children this. Yes, it takes a lot of effort on your part, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run.