Family Communications | Week 8|

Sibling Relationships

Resources | Exercise 1

Read through the scenarios of bringing someone new home one day and reflect on what it might feel like for a child to have this happen in the form of a new sibling.



The responses parents have can be related to the sibling relationship. An important part of addressing sibling rivalry is to unlock and treat with respect some of the emotions children feel about their siblings, even the negative ones. Supporting your children to know and understand each other is key to supporting them to having a positive relationship with each other. Talk with your child about how they feel about their sibling. Agree with them that it can be hard to like them all the time, but then support them to understand the needs of their sibling.  Help your child to see the value they can bring to their siblings life.

Children can learn so much about life and the relationships they will have a long the way. They will have so many opportunities in their sibling relationship to practice and to understand what is required in relationships.

As a parent your role is to offer them the support to understand and value each other. Give them the skills to manage the issues they are presented with right from toddler time.

By stepping in and resolving each issue you are not teaching your children anything other than you are the boss and your rules count. Are you supporting them to understand each other or dislike each other even more? Stand back and watch and try to identify what is happening!

Think back to the four-step plan for clear and direct communication. Try to use this when you are taking time to talk with your children about feelings. You can model this way of communication and it will support your child even further, as they learn to use the techniques to talk with their siblings to resolve conflicts.