Conflicts among siblings can start at a tender age and development into quarrels among the siblings at the adult stage if left unsettled. Conflicts among siblings may escalate and ruin the family relationship.
Were you a family member and didn’t get along with your siblings? You waste the best part of the day complaining or battling about things that doesn’t matter? Things you don’t really remember? It’s almost like the moment you see each other, the more you become resentful about the existence of each other?
The interference from your parent just strengthens the fire that sparks the conflict between you and your siblings. The issue later gets resolved except for a little spark to fuel the fight for a while. Why are things the way they are, you ask yourself? How did we get to this point?
By then, you and the person or people you once considered best friends, brothers and sisters just stopped talking to each other and behaving like total strangers. Worst yet, become enemies to one another?
These are people you’ve met all of your life, and for some excuses, reasons that make no sense at all, you can’t stand each other. Those you used to play hide and seek with are people you want to be avoiding.
Your parents are not seeing it, either. You thought it was going to be a phenomenon that was going to disappear with time but obviously it hasn’t. During family reunions, you never ever say hi or sorry to each other. You are conscious, deep down in your heart, that some things are missing.
You realize, like a burning hole in the centre of your subconscious, that a void needs to be filled. Every day, with everything you do, you recall things, how you all got along before the chaos and before the naming of pet names came to an end. You’re jealous of your friend’s relationship with your parents, and how they’d joke and have fun doing stuff together. To hear them respond to your parents just makes you miss more of them. You would like to bridge that gap.
You want stuff to be the same way they used to be in the family. Yeah, they said something mean, something that hurts your emotions, but maybe you did something bad too. One thing is obvious though; if that’s the case, somebody has to be the stronger man or woman.
Families stick together no matter what – that is what great scholars said. Since the gap between you and your sibling or siblings grew, the connection between you and your family has been wearing thin.
How do you repair an already damaged emotion? Here are steps to fix conflicts among siblings or fix a broken bond between the families:
Ways To Settle Conflicts Among Siblings
- Maintain a positive frame of mind: When the choice is to hold a family meeting and address this issue you and your sibling or siblings have, do it with a clear, anger-free mind. Don’t start a conversation when you’re angry. This would just trigger disagreements or problems and that would eventually contradict the goal. Often, recognizing when any family member is upset is very important. You will both converse on the same page this way. Approaching a problem when you’re upset only makes matters worse.
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- Accept that two wrongs don’t make a right: Nothing will be accomplished if you tend to focus on the fact that you have done nothing wrong, and want your sibling or siblings to apologize. Understand that it’s not about who’s right or wrong, it’s about bringing the bond back to love. Each family member has its own aspect of their story. Keeping a free mind would speed up the reunion.
- Give prior notice about the meeting: It’s important to acknowledge that every individual has a different plan for the day. To call a meeting without first notifying the person or family members is very wrong. Check their schedule to see if they have any other intruding plans. This means, you’re not only not intruding into their private affairs, but you’re also showing respect for their integrity.
- Acknowledge your own mistakes: Faults are likely to exist because we all make mistakes. Your parents or relatives are not likely to be angry at you because you have somehow wronged them in areas unfamiliar to you. Owning up your fault(s) is a bold decision towards healing. To be the first one to say sorry will not render you weak. It just shows that you are confident enough to move forward and the appreciation for the brave step you have taken to say sorry will be accorded.
- Make your points very clear: The main purpose of a meeting is to resolve issues between you and your family member or members. Make that very clear as possible to everyone without accusing anyone. Make the family member or members present in the meeting understand that you came to make peace and would appreciate it if they were to support the mission. It is possible to do that in an atmosphere that is friendly to everyone. Someplace they might feel most comfortable talking.
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- Avoid arguments at all cost: The aim of the meeting is to maintain the harmony of the family between you and your sibling or siblings but it would not make it easy if the raised points were formulated in a harsh tone. Maintain the interactions as clear as possible. Avoid arguments; this would only trigger further disputes which could become violent. This contravenes the original plan.
- Give space for everyone: Everyone needs to express their opinion of the situation. If it’s their time to talk, it’s best not to interrupt a member. Hear and grasp the meaning that they’re attempting to pass. Members recognize expectations and if you trust them sufficiently to let them speak, they will support the mission behind the meeting. This cycle eventually makes the meeting’s goal become successful.
- Make room for questions: A friend or family member whom you have problems with can have some questions they would like to ask you. Make sure to tackle them as politely as possible. No matter how offensive or intrusive the question may be, offer your responses in the most detailed and respectful manner possible. Answer the questions after you have thought about it. Don’t be in a hurry to answer.
- Ask for help: It is not a bad idea to meet with someone who is experienced in settling conflicts among siblings e.g a psychologist if you are a sibling or siblings willing to try it out. Seeing a specialist doesn’t imply disharmony among the family, it only means you and your family are focused on everything you need to live in peace. Make sure you and your family sort this out, if possible.
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When do conflicts among siblings usually start?
Conflicts among siblings are the animosity between brothers and sisters, the struggle and the battle. Almost all parents with two or more children are worried about these conflicts. Problems sometimes begin right after the second child is born. The rivalry between siblings typically goes on during adolescence and can be very upsetting and difficult for parents.
What causes conflicts among siblings?
May things can trigger conflicts among siblings. The issue can in certain situations may be due to a clash of personalities. In some cases, feelings of competition can be the cause. A child may feel like mom or dad prefers his brother or sister over him/her, for example. A child may feel resentful because he/she thinks she doesn’t get to do as much as the other because he/she is younger.
What are the effects of conflicts among siblings?
According to research, conflicts among siblings are sometimes packed with psychological and physical violence which may traumatize children, contributing to higher instances of depression, anxiety, and frustration later in life. In reality, conflicts among siblings may be more harmful than bullying.
The choice to repair toxic conflicts among siblings isn’t a simple one, particularly if a partner or family member becomes very insistent and doesn’t want to yield.
Patience is very important especially when it comes to resolving conflicts among siblings as it goes a long way towards restoring the family’s fractured relationship.