Parents' best rule of thumb after sibling squabbles

Alanna Levine, MD Pediatrician and Author, shares advice for parents on how to best respond during and after the inevitable fights between siblings in order to have the most beneficial result for your kids
Sibling Rivalry Tips | Parents Rule Of Thumb After Sibling Squabbles
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Parents' best rule of thumb after sibling squabbles

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Any parent who has more than one child knows that siblings fight. It's inevitable. It's part of growing up. It's part of conflict resolution within the family unit. As a parent, I suggest that you try to avoid being the referee between every single battle that occurs. It makes me much happier when children can work things out on their own rather than saying, mom, Johnny hit me. It can be really hard to be patient and watch your kids fight and know that one child is being unfair to the other child. But in the end, if you let the two of them work it out, they're going to be establishing conflict resolution skills that will help them not only with each other but also with their friends outside of the home. There is a caveat. If somebody's about to get really hurt, obviously you need to step in .But most of the time for just yelling and fighting matches, I really encourage parents to just let children work it out on their own. In some households there's always one child that acts more of a bully and there's another child that tends to give in much more. And I would avoid in the heat of the moment getting into that negotiation. What I would recommend is after everything is settled, they've worked it out, you can take both kids aside individually. To the bully child you can say, you know what? I notice that you really come on strong with your sibling all the time. And you're always forcing him to give him what you want. I think it would be nice sometimes if you took turns and you let him have what he wanted. And with your other child you could say, you know what? I noticed whenever you fight you always give in. You should stand up for yourself sometimes. I know you really wanted to play with that toy. How do you think you can get it next time? And together as a family unit, you can work out the conflict resolution.

Alanna Levine, MD Pediatrician and Author, shares advice for parents on how to best respond during and after the inevitable fights between siblings in order to have the most beneficial result for your kids

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Alanna Levine, MD

Pediatrician & Author

Dr. Alanna Levine is a New York-based pediatrician and a mom of two children.  As a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Levine frequently appears on television and in print speaking about breaking medical news and common parenting topics.  Dr. Levine is also a contributor for BabyCenter.com, on the board of advisors for GetSweaty.com, and on the executive committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Communications and Media.Dr. Levine sees patients at Orangetown Pediatric Associates in New York and is on staff at Nyack Hospital and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center.   She completed her internship and residency at the Mount Sinai Hospital, received her medical degree at Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, a master’s degree in medical sciences from Boston University, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin.

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