Siblings – Stepping back as a parent

When parents have more than one child, they dream of siblings playing together and sharing life. We envision bright sunny days of imaginative play and fun. We do not imagine them fighting or not getting along.

Photo taken by Zain RInke – Aureum photography


And then the fights break out and we police. We police their engagements, we police their toys, we police everything they do together. Sadly that policing is the reason so many siblings grows up hating each other.


Imagine for a moment the impact it would have on your intimate relationships with other adults if you had someone constantly polices your disagreements, your belongings and how you interact with said person. You hardly get a chance to do something or figure things out together as a team, before someone swoops in and takes control. It will feel as if you have a third party to your relationship.


This is the impact our interference has on our children when they are building sibling relationships. Our interference creates a space where they cannot get along without a parent present to step in and take control. Their relationship depends on your input.
We are doing our children a disservice by interfering all the time. I am not saying don’t stop the biting, hitting, hair pulling or damage that can occur when they get really passionate about something. Absolutely step in when bodily harm is a definite possibility.


What I am saying though is. Take a step back and let them find a solution that works for them. Even when you disagree with the solution. Them being able to strategise together and find their own solutions, enables them to do co-operative team work, faster problem solving and it builds the relationship to the dream you originally had. Siblings that loves each other and are each other’s best friends.

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