I have 6 kids, 10 years and younger. There are constant sibling squabbles in our household. Some days are worse than others.
I am often asked how I control the fighting, both by friends and even by readers. We are by no means perfect but we have found ways to calm the chaos.
1. Give them Space.
Because we homeschool, my kids are together 24/7. That gets really tiresome for everyone. If you live in a smaller home this is even more difficult, but can be done. There needs to be a time each day where everyone has some quiet time. If arguing begins, people need to go to their own corners to cool off. This is important, because sometimes people just get on our nerves, and space helps that not to feel so overwhelming. Even as adults we experience this, so we should afford the same luxury that we crave to them when we can. A little bit of space goes a long way to helping everyone get along better.
2. Guide their Words.
We must train our children to know what proper words are in a conversation. That doesn’t come naturally. Is it a spiritual issue as well? Yes, it is, but I do find that helping my children “find” their words is also a type of habit training as well. When there is a spat between siblings I will walk them through what should have been said, as well as, how to apologize.
3. Fill them with Scripture.
We know that only the Holy Spirit can change hearts. We can guide our children to know Christ, but it is only through His power that they are saved. We are called to fill our children with Scripture daily. When your children sin share Scripture with them about how to handle anger, anxiety, and disputes. Even if they don’t seem receptive the Lord can use this action to soften their hearts toward Himself.
Get a FREE set of Scripture Posters for boys and girls HERE.
4. Exemplify kind speech and forgiveness.
This is a biggie that I know of which I am guilty. It is so important that we exemplify kind speech and forgiveness towards others. It is easy to gossip with your spouse about something that happened at church or about an event with your mother-in-law. It can even be as simple as holding a grudge against your own child for something that happened earlier. We must show our children what kind speech and forgiveness look like.
5. Don’t rescue them every time.
It is important that we allow our children to work out conflict on their own sometimes. This is a good exercise for them to work through conversations and emotions on their own. You are their guide during these sibling squabbles but let them have opportunities to exercise their skills in conflict-resolution. They will most definitely need it one day when they are on their own.