9 ways to identify conflicts And improve Sibling Relationships.
9 ways to identify conflicts And improve Sibling Relationships.
Brothers and sisters – bound together
Inculcating values among children is not easy, but it is not impossible. With the right policies and approaches, it is highly achievable.
Here are some ways you can develop a stronger bond among siblings…
A Home is a microcosm of society. We need to establish at home the values that we want to see in our society. The balance of rights and duties should be established at home first. A fair dose of justice, dignity and empathy should be established under our roofs before we start demanding these from our society.
Compromising on this would only lead to a compromised, indifferent and chaotic society, this holds true for the family as well.
Like the society we live in, our home is made of a group of diverse individuals. Every family member, however similar they are in looks and traits, is distinct, diverse and dynamic and this needs to be respected.
For a family to thrive as a group and for each member to blossom within the family while maintain all of his or her distinctions, we need to develop a culture of tolerance and respect at home.
Inculcating these values among children is not easy, but it is not impossible. In fact, with the right policies and approach, it is highly achievable.
Disagreement is natural
Naturally, when two individuals live together under a roof, differences are bound to happen. It’s how we have been created and wired. Human beings, by our very nature, cannot agree on everything.
So, no matter how loving and nurturing an environment we create at home, there will be arguments and altercations. Occasionally, one of us will feel slighted or wronged. One of us will see things differently and blame it on the other. One of us by our very nature will dominate the other, and the other, despite being very tolerant and respectful, will occasionally try to push back, resulting in friction.
This could happen even between the most loving individuals, be it sisters and brothers or even between parents and children or among parents themselves.
This happens because, as humans we naturally prefer ourselves and tend to priorities our ideas and perspectives on things. So, growing up is all about learning to prefer others or the interests of the group we are part of.
To thrive and grow as a family, prioritising the interests of other members of the family or the family as a whole is the key. As we grow up, this will go a long way in developing leadership in children as well as helping in team building.
As humans, we have the ability to resolve our differences amicably, without resorting to our base animal instincts of forcing things or imposing ourselves.
Being human is all about rising above our base instincts and taming the wild animal inside us. This is where the role of parents become crucial.
As much as we would want our children to resolve their differences themselves, there will be an occasional need for us to step in and nudge them towards balance.
Nobody in this world can guide our children the way we can. Hence, the more time we spend with our children, the better chance we will have to develop their character and mould them as loving, caring and sharing human beings.
Parenting is a full time job, it can’t be a stopgap or makeshift arrangement. So, as parents we will have to keep looking for opportunities or create opportunities to inculcate values that will hold them in good stead for the rest of their lives.
More than providing them with all the amenities and luxuries of life, parenting is about building character that will help them face any situation without losing their equanimity. This can only happen through constant and persistent effort of creating a feeling of togetherness and family bond.
While it is important to let siblings find solutions or work out their own differences or find a way to overcome their problems, it is highly essential to provide them with the right tools to find the solution. Only parents can provide these tools and these tools are the values around which the family life is built.
Parents, especially mothers, are central to the development of individuals, who in turn build the societies and nations.
This is the reason why our Creator elevated the status of parents, next only to the Almighty Himself. This status doesn’t come only by giving birth to children and providing for their material needs.
Prioritising them, nurturing them, establishing a bond of friendship with and within them, giving space to their emotions and eccentricities, making them feel valued and appreciated, accepting their failures as well as their successes would help them grow as balanced, confident and responsible individuals. Real confident individuals are those who learn how to own up their faults, admit their mistakes and cope up with challenges.
The best conflict resolutions happen only from the foundation of acceptance and acknowledgement of one’s mistakes. To admit one’s mistakes needs a great strength of character, which can only be developed with consistent effort over a period of time. So, keep at it, but don’t expect miracles overnight.
Human journey is all about falling and failing and then learning from it and moving forward by correcting one’s behaviour.
Here are some essential steps in developing healthy sibling relationship and resolving conflicts:
Help siblings understand that the family is like a team working together for a common cause and each member has a role to play in the survival and success of the family as a whole. In order to achieve this goal, the family has to stick together and constantly work towards improving their relationship and prefer the interests of the family over their own selves.
As much as we try to build our home with the values and qualities of tolerance, love and care, it is important to have some non-negotiable rules ensure peace. Zero tolerance for violence is one rule that needs to be strictly enforced.
With constant effort, children should made to realise that no matter what the issue is, they cannot go beyond a threshold, they cannot resort to violence.
But, for them to follow this rule, parents will have to adhere to it first. We cannot resort to beating or violent punishment in any case.
Respecting each other as individuals with all their eccentricities and distinctions is the key to maintaining harmony in any space and this is highly important to develop a supportive family environment.
Naturally, children would want to impose themselves on others or have their way in all matters, and this is where the role of parents come in. Stepping in as and when required and reminding them to show respect for others will help children get back on track and retain their composure.
As individuals we all need our own private space. This is not just about having the physical space or privacy. We all need the space and time to think or be ourselves, to be comfortable under our own skin and be ourselves without the fear of being ridiculed or censured at least at home. This need should be highly valued and upheld in order to minimise conflicts at home.
To thrive and grow as a family, we need to care for individual opinions. A family is made of individuals and to develop a sound and balanced family, individual opinions should be valued. An atmosphere of seeking and sharing counsel needs to be developed.
Each member of the family should care for the other’s opinion in family matters and best opinions should be implemented even if the idea comes from the youngest member of the family.
This will also develop the atmosphere of collective decision making.
Even in personal matters, if opinions are respected then each member will have the courage to share their honest views. This will develop an atmosphere of genuine care and honesty in the family.
Justice and fairness
Conflicts usually stem from the feeling of injustice and that is the reason why it is highly important to establish an order of justice and fairness at home.
Parents need to be extra careful while dealing with children and while doling out goodies or showering words of praise on any one child.
Children have a very sharp sight and they see things from a very self-centred perspective, hence we need to deal with them keeping their feelings in mind.
However, we will have to constantly work to develop a very broad idea of justice and fairness in them. They need to be taught that sameness is not fairness or justice. They need to be taught that it is highly important to maintain equality but equality doesn’t always mean identical treatment.
As they say in medical parlance, prevention is better than cure. The most important and lasting step towards conflict resolution at home is to develop a preventive and deterrent environment where members of the family back off the moment they realise that a situation is likely to escalate. For this to happen, constant work on character building is highly essential. Because, at the moment of crisis it the character that shines through!