Argh… how do I manage sibling disputes?

There’s nothing like the holidays to remind you how constantly sorting out your children’s disputes, can really put a dampener on your good spirits. Rather than jumping in to resolve the situation… why not try some mediation?  The next time a big disagreement arises, why not call a family meeting and guide your children to agreeing to a resolution? Here are some tips to try when you call your meeting:

  1. Set the ground rules – be clear about what can and can’t be said or done in the discussion.
  2. Outline the issue(s) at hand – this is your turn to be clear about what the problem is and any influencing factors.
  3. Each sibling then needs to outline why the other sibling is upset.  This needs to be done while following the ground rules set in point 1.
  4. Depending on the age of the children, each sibling needs to suggest a resolution that each member can potentially agree to. Alternatively, each sibling can propose a list of three, which is then ranked by the other sibling(s)
  5. Only a resolution that can be agreed upon by everyone should be selected.
  6. Keep an eye on the situation to make sure the resolution is followed by everyone (otherwise you might need to start again at point 1!)

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