Two ways to solve sibling conflicts (only one works in the long term)

Carlotta Cerri

Scenario 1:

Oliver: Emily, stop splashing water on me!

Emily: No!

Oliver: Mom, Emily splashes me with water!

❌ Mom: Emily! Stop doing that! How many times do we need to tell you?

Emily reacts angrily and does it again.

🙁 I created an unnecessary power struggle.

Scenario 2:

Oliver: Emily, stop splashing water on me!

Emily: No!

Oliver: Mom, Emily splashes me with water!

✅ Mom: I'm sure you can solve it yourself. Have you tried to ask him politely?

Oliver: Emily, can you stop squirting me please?

Emily: Ok, Oliver!

🙂 I trusted them and avoided a power struggle.

Why did it work?

👉 Because we have been practicing this way of resolving conflicts for years.

👉 Because I try to intervene as little as possible and not to be a judge, but a mediator.

👉 Because it's fair that Oliver's will is respected, but it's as fair that Emily is spoken to with respect.

This way, I parent:

👌 show trust and respect to my children

👌 teach consent

👌 teach respectful communication

👌 teach conflict resolution

[And I'm not teaching in the way most think parents should teach: I'm not teaching from superiority, but from respect]

And when it doesn't work?

👏 I insist.

👏 I try to be consistent and coherent.

👏 It's a process, I trust the process. I know that if I model respect, consent and trust my children will learn respect, consent and trust. If I criticize, point fingers, scold and decide who is right, my children will do the same.

Ps. It doesn't always go this way but today, after many years of practice, I know that most often than not it'll work this way. It's a process.

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