Combating Sibling Rivalry

“Good little boys don’t do anything but make their sisters happy!”  –Phineas and Ferb

There are lots of things on TV that I hate.  I hate Jersey Shore.  I hate the horror shows.  I hate teenage pregnancy glorified.  And I hate siblings who hate each other.

Almost every show, specifically on Nick and Disney depicts brothers and sisters not just arguing, but specifically trying to sabotage each other’s lives.  Evil little sisters out to destroy big brothers, little brothers who would do anything BUT protect their sisters.  It’s absolute insanity, and we knew that it was all affecting the relationships of our own children.

I don’t remember EVER hating my brothers–EVER.  Perhaps in a moment of aggravation, I perhaps may have thrown utensils at my older brother, perhaps. And Perhaps I may have locked him out of the house a time or two, but never EVER did I hate him.  I adore my brothers and I know that no matter what comes in this life, they will always protect me and take care of me.

We put our foot down with our kids…no more…not gonna happen.  Disrespect ugliness, hateful talk- NO MORE!  We tried:

::REASON

::BIBLICAL FEAR

::PARENTAL THREATS

::GROUNDING

::MONETARY FINES

and then we did the worst possible thing ever that brothers and sisters would ever face and it worked.

We forced them to sit down across from each other, hold hands, and share their feelings.   [actual exercise is posted in comments]

WHAT!?

Yep we sure did!!!

We knew that a HUGE part of our kids’ problem in their relationship was the lack of compassion they had for each other.  Living in total selfishness, they cared only about their own feelings, their own entitlement, themselves.  The only way to push through that was to move them into a place where they could genuinely care for each other, and begin problem solving.  They had to get to a healthy place in their relationship where they could understand each others pain and fears!

It took a little over an hour.  It required each of them to risk trusting that the other wouldn’t make fun of them.  They realized they had similar fears and angers.  They watched each other cry, and both hated me and my husband together–creating an alliance.

Do they still argue? Sure.  Do they sometimes feel as if the other one hates them? Yep.  But now, they talk through it instead of screaming and slamming doors.  Now they have developed compassion and are living a life in Christ of mercy and grace, love and genuine concern for each others lives.

What do you do to help sibling rivalry issues in your family?

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3 thoughts on “Combating Sibling Rivalry

  1. EMPTY YOUR EMOTIONAL JUG

    Verbally empty your emotional jug by asking a friend to be a sounding board. Use this
    exercise:

    Ask permission to empty the jug

    Your friend asks you “What are you mad about?”

    Your response. “I’m mad about…”

    Repeat this sentence until you are done.

    Your fried then asks “Is there anything else you are mad about?” If yes, continue as
    above

    If no, your friend then asks, “What are you sad about?”
    “I’m sad about…”

    Your friend then asks, “Is there anything else you are sad about?”
    If yes, continue as above.

    Once this is completed, Your friend then asks, “What are you glad about?”

    Continue same as above. It is important that the person asking the questions does not comment on anything the person who is emptying the jug expresses.

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