Sibling Stuff

Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic /

Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic /

Whenever there is a child from a hard place in the mix of siblings, there are bound to be sibling issues that seem rise above the typical sibling rivalry issues. It’s important to remember that kids from hard places use their behavior to communicate fear and intense insecurity and sibling issues are no different.

Start from the root. Put energy into increasing each child’s felt security. Identifying each child’s love language will help streamline your efforts and make them more effective. While this “tactic” will nip the problem at it’s root, it may take a long time before you see noticeable results.

In the meantime, work to minimize opportunity for conflict. If an issue arises, take a deep a breath and keep your cool…even if it’s just long enough to get everyone separated while you go continue to cool down and decide, untriggered, what to do.

Try to figure out what insecurity or emotion was attempted to be communicated through the conflict. Talk with each child, validate their emotions, and brainstorm solutions. Once everyone is calmed down and has identified words for their emotions, bring everyone together to do a re-do with words.

In addition to increasing felt safety, look for opportunities to create common ground between the siblings with silly non-competitive games.┬áKeep the expectations low. Don’t give up if it doesn’t go well. Give it a break and come back to it at a later time. Coming back even a year later to the same activity can help you see how much progress has been made.

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