Healing Sibling Rivalry
Siblings are prone to bickering; that’s nothing unusual. Put two kids in a household together and eventually they’ll come up with reasons to snap. But as Christians, shouldn’t our homes look different?
Jesus says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). Love is the marker of a true follower of Christ. And who are we called to love? Not just God, but one another. We have to get the message across to our kids that “one another” includes their siblings.
If your kids fight, here are three tips for healing the sibling rivalry in your house.
- Remind your kids your family is a team. God put you together, and He expects you to work together. One of the biggest mistakes our kids tend to make is viewing their siblings as the nemesis, rather than partners according to God’s design.
- Give your kids opportunities to practice getting along. Encourage them to read to one another, walk the dog together, play a game together, or make a craft. Explain the ground rules: no bossing, no bickering, no complaining, no eye-rolling. If they do well, reward them. Eventually they may discover the true reward is in the company they keep.
- Teach them to pray for one another. This will require your kids to consider one another’s needs rather than focusing only on their own. Plus it’s awfully hard to stay mad at somebody you’re praying for earnestly. Together, through the power of prayer, the entire family can witness what God does with your children’s faithfulness.