I have two sisters and while we were growing up, we got into the predictable sibling arguments, but they weren’t too bad. I had friends with siblings too and some of them absolutely hated each other. My best friend was the only person who seemed to get along with her brother. They were more than four years apart though, so my best friend’s brother was already getting out of his toddler stage when my friend was born.

However, many families have children close together so that they have at least two toddlers at the same time. Some friends of ours have two girls right now that are just getting out of toddlerhood, but when they were a few years younger, our friends noticed the older girl was beginning to be very unkind to her younger sister. To help them get along, they looked online and bought a few books on how to encourage their girls to make up and play nicely. Check out some of the advice they found.

Use Sympathy and Empathy
One of the best tips for teaching toddler siblings to get along is sympathy or empathy. While children still have a hard time thinking that the world doesn’t revolve around them, they also have the ability to feel very deeply, especially when the situation is described in a way they can relate to.

When your children fight and hurt each other’s feelings, sit them down and talk about the situation. Ask them to try and imagine how their sibling might have felt and how it would feel if they had been the one to be hurt.

Encourage Communication
When your children are still little, talk about the importance of communication and talking about what they feel. This will hopefully help them resort to talking things out before physically fighting. It won’t always work, but it might help relieve some of the worst fights before they become physical.

Let Them Fight and Make Up

Even if my sisters and I got along pretty well, it doesn’t mean that we weren’t pretty awful to each other from time to time. I once punched my older sister so hard I knocked the wind out of her. However, once I did it, I felt terrible, apologizing profusely, and I never hit anyone again, so perhaps some lessons were learned from those rivalries after all.

Bonning, K. S. (2012, June 13). 17 Tips to Encourage Sibling Bonding [From the Mouths of Moms]. B Inspired Mama.

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