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More Love at Home: Smoothing Out the Sibling Relationship

“Love at home.” We sing about it, we aspire for it. But what if your kids are squashing it? With everyone in the same space, day in and day out, sibling rivaliries can start to form.

If the sibling bickering is making you bonkers, Dr. Julie Hanks, with Wasatch Family Therapy, offers some helpful solutions that can help smooth out the sibling relationship.


Sibling Dynamic: Siblings that are close in age.

Helpful Hint: Spend individual time with each child.

It is important to treat kids as individials. It’s easy to treat them as a pack, but spend time with each of them individually. Take five or ten minutes to read a book or go on a walk with just one child. Make sure they are getting one-on-one time with you individually. The smallest chunk of time makes a difference.

Sibling Dynamic: Siblings that are opposite in personality.

Helpful Hint: Avoid comparing siblings.

Don’t compare siblings to each other. You shouldn’t say things like “Why aren’t your homework quitely like so-and-so?” That adds fuel the fire. Focus on their strengths. Avoid pitting them against each other.

Sibling Dynamic: The “Bitter Big Kid”

Helpful Hint: Validate the emotions your teenagers are feeling.

Help your teens express their emotions. There has been a lot of loss, espically for the older kids. They are missing out on sports, dances, socializing, and they miss their friends. Help them identify what they’re feeling, and express those emotions in a healthy way.

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