5 Parenting Tips to Prevent Sibling Rivalry During Summer Break

5 Parenting Tips to Prevent Sibling Rivalry During Summer Break

Summer break entices us with relaxation and decreased rules, but it can also be a breeding ground for arguments, disappointment, and frustration. With a few ground rules, you can set your family up for a successful summer:

  • Set Clear Expectations: Establish clear guidelines for behavior and responsibilities. Ensure your kids know what is expected of them during the summer break to avoid misunderstandings. Summers offer great opportunities to try new household activities. Is there a skill your child needs to learn or improve? Taking a family cooking, gardening, safe sitter, survival, or home economics class provides the memories and confidence needed to complete household chores.

  • Conquering Childcare: While many parents anxiously anticipate eliminating the need for childcare as their children age, this can lead to problems if underlying issues exist. If your children argue and fight often, reconsider putting one in charge of the others. If your older children are close in age, the dynamics can be tricky and should be monitored closely, especially if you are aware of sibling rivalry.

  • Encourage Teamwork: Plan activities that require teamwork and collaboration. This can help foster a sense of camaraderie among siblings and reduce the likelihood of conflicts. Incorporate cooperative games to help build mutual support rather than competition among players. These games can build problem-solving skills, empathy, and trust in each other.

  • Allocate One-on-One Time: Spend quality time with each child individually. This can help strengthen your bond with each child and reduce feelings of jealousy or competition. Offer a money and time budget and let your child select an activity. Depending on your resources, it could be 2 hours and $20 a week or 3 hours and $5 per week. This activity doesn’t have to break the bank. The duration and amount matter less than the consistency and memories. 

  • Create a Routine: Establishing a daily routine can provide structure and predictability, reducing the chances of disagreements and conflicts between siblings. We parent our children differently based on their needs, helping them to understand that it can be challenging based on their age. Use relatable examples to help them understand that their older brother has a later bedtime and wakes up later because of their age and stage of development. Open conversations about healthy boundaries, sleep requirements, and individual needs can move you in the right direction.

  • Promote Positive Communication: Encourage open and honest communication between siblings. Teach them how to express their feelings and resolve conflicts constructively. Conflict resolution skills are a powerful tool to introduce to your children. Personality audits help them understand themselves and each other better. Via Character, The Four Temperaments, The Five Love Languages for Children, and Clifton Strength Finder are a few of my favorites.

Books to add to your summer reading list include:

“How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

  • This classic book offers effective communication strategies to help parents connect with their children and improve cooperation.

“Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Marc Weissbluth

  • This comprehensive guide covers sleep strategies for children from infancy through adolescence, helping parents understand the importance of good sleep habits.

“Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

  • This classic book provides practical strategies for parents to reduce conflict and foster a supportive sibling relationship. It offers real-life stories and practical advice for resolving sibling disputes and encouraging cooperation.

“Siblings: You’re Stuck with Each Other, So Stick Together” by James J. Crist and Elizabeth Verdick

  • This book, geared towards children, helps them understand and manage their sibling relationships through relatable stories and practical advice.

If you’re struggling to manage sibling rivalry this summer, remember that a little planning and communication can go a long way!


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