Sibling Conflict: Teaching Moment or Stay out of It?


I am the mother of 3 children, a 5 and a half year old girl, a 4 year old boy and a 2 and a half year old girl. The 2 oldest used to play really well together for the most part but over the last couple of weeks they have been bickering and fighting a lot more often. I am ready to institute the "Don't Disturb the Family Peace" policy and I'm going to do the one described in "The Well Disciplined Child" where they spend 15 minutes in the family conference room, i.e. laundry room, "solving their problem. But first I have a couple of questions...

1. When I do witness one of them being physically aggressive with the other (hitting, pulling hair, pushing, etc), what do I do? Because "don't hurt one another" is part of the policy so what do I do when this happens? If the girl hits the boy, it seems odd to send both to the laundry room...

2. As a parent, I am supposed to be teaching them how to be kind and how to lovingly relate to those around them. By not interfering when I see them being unkind, aren't I missing out on an opportunity to teach them? We do a "manner of the week" and a "bible verse of the week" in which we discuss each morning at breakfast, what the verse and manner mean and these often involve kindness, politeness, putting others first, etc but I just wonder if I'm missing an opportunity if I'm not intervening in their conflicts as well.

Thanks so much for your website! I asked a question a couple of months before about my constantly crying boy and the solution given worked wonderfully well!

Become A Member To View The Answer

Please register and purchase a subscription in order to view the answer. Existing members please log in.


Related Ages

Related Topics

View All Questions