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How should you deal with sibling rivalry?

by thriftyfrugalfun (follow)
Thrifty is a mum of 3 who is passionate about living a happy, simple and frugal life. You can read her blog at: thriftyfrugalfun.blogspot.com.
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Siblings
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Sibling rivalry is the fighting, competition and jealousy which occurs between siblings. It is a natural occurrence, and happens in every family to some degree. What are some tips for dealing with this behaviour?


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I recently discovered that for older children, regular team building exercises are very effective in teaching siblings to get along. They can be great fun, and in my household, the fighting has reduced somewhat.
Separate them for a little while as it frequently happens because one of them steps into the sibling s play or personal space.

Stop any activity they are doing go into a different room (on couch, outside in the garden) and ask each of them what there version of the fight or arguing is and how they feel about it. We then work to find a solution that satisfies everyone.
That night, I usually make sure to tell each of them seperatly how much I love them and point oit what is so special about them.
We've always treated our two as "a team", that's how we described them, and how we set expectations of them working together. We rewarded kind and thoughful behaviour. However, when the oldest was 6 or 7, she started to get quite domineering and a bit mean, so we decided we had to go a bit further to reinforce the team/family idea. We introduced a system called Sister Points. Our daughters were rewarded with points for working together, being kind, achieving things, and deducted points for unfriendly, unkind, or mean behvaiour. They shared the points total, and when they reached certain levels (25, 50, 100, 250, 500) they levelled up as sisters (level 2 sisters!) and we had a family treat of increasing awesomeness. They love games, so they loved the idea of levelling up, and we were rewarded as a family for doing well. It's worked really well - they are very much still a team (they're now 10 and 7) to the point that we don't really need the points anymore!
I absolutely love this idea!
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