Resolving Sibling Conflict :: Summer of Mentorship Wk 1
“They just keep fighting!”
Summer, for us, means lots of unstructured time together as a family. Which is great. . . until it’s not.
Perhaps you can identify. Maybe you see yourself in one of the following situations:
Situation #1 – The kids are fighting – again! The harder you try to make it stop, the worse it seems to get – and the kids seem more and more resentful.
Situation #2 – One minute they love each other and the next minute they’re arch enemies. The older they get the louder and angrier it gets. You hate the way this affects everyone’s mood, including your own.
Situation #3 – Time-outs, required apologies, and firmness temporarily curb the fighting, but it soon comes back with more intensity.Situation #4 – Your young kids are beginning their rivalry and you worry where it’s heading if you don’t learn some better strategies. (copied from Sibling Conflict Online Course description).
Jim & Lynne Jackson from ConnectedFamilies.org are back to equip us in training our children to solve conflict well. And instead of just wishing they would “just stop fighting”, to recognize the gospel work of guiding our family to reconciliation.
Today, they are talking us through The Peace Process. A simple but effective way to guide our kids to a lifetime of reconciled relationships. Here’s their great graphic with the four steps moving us from “crazy mountain” to peaceful reconciliation (Click here to print your own copy):
Conflict is inevitable. Instead of just getting frustrated and annoyed, I’ve found having a plan to reconnect hearts and train empathy so helpful. I also loved all the phrases Jim & Lynne modeled to use as we guide our children through the process. Here are some of my favorites (I’ll be bookmarking this page and referring to often):
- “Sounds like y’all are having a hard time. Do you need my help or are you able to work it out on your own?”
- “Solving brains won’t work until we’re calm. Why don’t we each find a comfortable place. How long do you need? 5 min? 10 min? Then we’ll come back together to work this out.”
- “Did you hear that? How does she feel? Do you like that what you did made her feel that way? You two are listening to each other. How does that feel?”
- “Your big feelings are a gift. And they are an even greater gift with you can use them to help understand other’s big feelings.”
- “What’s going on? What was important to each person? How have you solved this problem before? Would you like to think of ways to solve the problem or do you want me to help give you choices on how to solve it?”
- “Are there four things you could say that are kind and true about that person?”
Lastly, if you need more help learning how to guide your kiddos through the peace process, check out Jim & Lynne’s new SIBLING CONFLICT ONLINE COURSE. I’ll be working through it this summer. Join me!
What we chat about:
- Considering your own baggage/sibling situation as you rush into your kids’ conflict.
- Are we trying to get conflict to stop or teach reconciliation?
- The four steps to “The Peace Process”.
- A real life example of applying peace process.
- How training in reconciliation helps our kids in their future marriages and relationships.
- Helping our kids learn how to solve the problem of the conflict (a 3-step process).
- A scenario of a more empathetic child in conflict with a more strong-willed child–growing specific skills in kids.
- Addressing the differences in your kids outside of conflict.
- Help for the mom who has a child with special needs in the sibling mix.
- Connecting with others based not on experience but emotion.
- Tips for conflicts that happen right before you have to leave the house.
Connect with Jim & Lynne:
- Free Discipline that Connects handbook
- Building Empathy in Kids (Part 1) and Building Empathy in Kids (Part 2) article
- “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:15)
- “Suppose your brother or sister has something against you, go make peace with them.” (Abbr. Matthew 5:23-24).
- “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NIV)
- “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.” (Matthew 5:9 MSG).
- Need one-on-one parent coaching? Click here
- Peaceful Mothering DVD
- What is your process for sibling conflict to management in your home right now?
- What are some ways you and your child can calm down in the heat of conflict? How could taking a mom “time out” help you can down?
- Discuss how seeing conflict resolution in light of your child’s future relationships (think coworkers and future spouse) can help you see why these skills are so important to learn now.
- Guiding your kids with questions as they resolve conflict helps support them make better decisions. Think of a few questions you could ask for common disagreements.
- Think about each of your kids and help make a plan for their individual personalities for conflict resolution.