What to do When Teen Siblings Don’t Get along
It’s hard being a teenager. But it’s even harder raising a teen. If you’ve got more than one in the house at a time? That’s a real challenge, even when they get on well. The problem falls when they don’t get along at all. It’s normal for siblings to fight, although sometimes it can reach unhealthy extremes.
If your family is being torn apart by siblings constantly at war, read on for some ideas of how to restore the peace.
Let Them Work It Out
It’s hard to know where to begin or what to do when your teen siblings don’t get along. One important thing to remember is that as a parent, it’s not your job to shut down every argument. It’s normal for teens to argue amongst themselves about stealing clothes, turning down the music, or anything under the sun.
It’s actually healthy in moderation since it’s a chance to practice conflict resolution and peer-to-peer relations in a safe space.
They’re practising to become adults that are equipped with the tools to compromise and resolve issues in a mature way. But to get to that stage, they have to practice.
It seems counter-intuitive, and it can be hard not to get involved. For minor disputes, sometimes it’s worth just taking a backseat. However, if the argument becomes abusive or violent, of course, you’ll want to put an end to it.
Teach them Acceptable language
That doesn’t mean that parents don’t have a valuable role in resolving the conflict. You can set clear boundaries for the kinds of language and behaviour you think should be tolerated.
You can also model compromise and conflict resolution in the way you deal with them, and the way you deal with other adults.
Set Clear Boundaries
Some teens will need more explicit guidance. You might want to talk them through some useful language to use to take the sting out of conflict.
You don’t need to resolve the fight for them, but you can allow them to fix it. For example, if they are fighting over who has control of the TV, you can turn the TV off until they reach a compromise. That’ll soon get them talking!
Seek Help If You Need It
If things are really bad and it’s affecting the family dynamics, you might want to consider calling in the professionals. It’s perfectly normal to go to a family counseling center to get some help.
It doesn’t mean that you’re failing to cope, it simply means you’re looking for some extra tools in your belt to tackle this challenge.
With counselling, you can learn to create the kind of family dynamics that encourage teens to cooperate more. This can be challenging to work on alone.
A therapist can help you to set clear boundaries while also allowing for open and honest communication between the whole family. Since they’re an impartial outsider, everything tends to be less heated and more solution-focused.
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It can be heartbreaking when sibling fighting gets out of control.
Remember that this phase will pass.
Many adults can recall having terrible arguments with their siblings, only to become best friends again in their twenties. Teens are learning to relate to each other and find their place in the world. Clear boundaries, positive communication, and a bit of space will help them to do this.
Now that you have some tips on what to do when teen siblings don’t get along, did we miss any?
Do you have any tips to share?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.