Parenting

Ep. 151. Encouraging Sibling Bonding + Conflict Resolution

siblings
I'm Ashley!

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Do you struggle with sibling rivalry in your home? Where your kids are just really struggling to get along, which in turn makes the whole family dynamic, feel so tense and stressful?

Maybe you try to separate your kids as much as you can, and you try to foster the bond as best as you know how, but still, whatever you end up doing is just not working the way that you planned.

If that’s you, I want to bring you encouragement. And I want to bring you hope that you are not the only mama that struggles with this.

I am so excited to walk you through my personal experience with my kids, and what it has been like to try and help them foster this bond.

I want to bring you encouragement today that your dream reality of everyone getting along can be true.

It does take time, I want you to think about the most important things in your family. And I think you would say it is the people in your family, right?

So often we spend time on things that don’t ultimately matter like scrolling social media, zoning out on shows, etc. So, why is it that we focus so much time on those things? But when it comes to the things that matter the most in our life, we’re like, ‘Oh, this is too hard. I’m out.’

So I really want to encourage you to dig deeper, if you are struggling in this area. Find resources, and go all in on this. I know that I have and I want to go even deeper.

When it comes to relationships, this is something that is going to change the trajectory of their life. I also am a really firm believer that if my kids have a strong relationship with God, they also are going to thrive in life. And so I really focus on those two main things.

1. The very first thing that I want you to focus on is YOU

Believe it or not we as the mama, we as parents in general, play a huge role in why our kids argue and fight with each other.

Our kids are looking for this feeling and sense of belonging. And if they feel like it’s threatened in any way, it is actually human nature to try to pull that other person down. They might be doing this with their siblings.

It’s really important that your kids know that they are loved and taken care of outside of the rest of the pack. Keeping that separate and sacred time to spend with each of your kiddos one on one is going to be huge.

One thing that I recommend is never pitting your kids against each other in simple things like making a game of who can brush their teeth the fastest, etc.

Another thing we don’t do is that we do not say things about our kids that would put one higher than the other. For example, we don’t compliment one of our kids in a way that puts down our other child.

2. The second thing to focus on here is to really educate your kiddos.

This is really important because I think a lot of times, we think that our words aren’t enough.

Us barking at our kiddos, especially in the heat of the moment when they’re dysregulated is not helping, and it is not educating. So what we need to do as parents is we need to wait until everybody is neutral, and regulated, and then educate them on how to best handle situations.

A book I love, The Whole-Brain Child by Daniel Seigel speaks so much on regulation and the importance of waiting until your kids are regulated before addressing any sort of issues.

Another resource we use a ton is The Sibling Survival Guide by Dawn Huebner. We read about two chapters twice a week. I would really recommend reading this with your kiddos.

A few more resources we love are: What to Do When It’s Not Fair and The 7 Habits of Happy Kids.

These are just a few of my absolute favorite resources. But you can find so many, and I encourage you to grab a few and just get started.

Ultimately, make it a fun experience for your kids to learn how to handle conflict and emotion. Learn alongside them and make it fun as you learn together how best to be in a relationship with each other.

3. Once you’ve educated your kiddos, it’s time to practice and put some role-playing into action.

If you go onto Pinterest and type in ‘How to Roleplay Conflict Resolution’ it will come up with so many incredible resources for you.

I think it’s really important that you allow your kids to bring to the table some issues that they have been experiencing, or you could be the one to bring a few scenarios to the table.

You may need to help them brainstorm some solutions together of what they can do when they find themselves in a conflict with one another.

The thing is, if we continue to jump in and take sides with what’s happening, is we’re just heightening all the emotions. And then everybody’s in pure chaos. And then your kids are probably getting more emotional and angry.

Instead, if we can go into the situation really even, really calm, and really neutral there is so much more hope for quicker reconciliation.

4. The most important piece of this is to facilitate sibling time.

I want you to facilitate this time with your kids, where they get to spend with each other. And it’s sacred, it’s special. Just like you would spend special time with your spouse or friends.

if your kids do not have this time that they connect, they are constantly going to be at each other’s throats because they do not understand each other.

But the more that you immerse yourself with other people, and the more that you hear their perspective, you start to understand them.

I hope that you have found value in this episode’s content. I love talking about parenting and sibling bonding, and is something I’m super passionate about!

Quotes to Note:

“Whatever is the most important in your life, that’s what you need to go all in on. And let the other things fall to the side.”

“Never stop learning and teaching with your kids.”

Resources:

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  5. Have a question for me? Or a specific struggle you’re dealing with? I’ll address your question on the podcast. Submit your ‘Ask Ashley’ question here

Books Mentioned

  1. Sibling Survival Guide
  2. The 7 Habits of Happy Kids
  3. What to Do When It’s Not Fair
  4. The Whole Brain Child
  5. Big Life Journal Sibling Kit

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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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