How do you stop siblings from bickering? One day they love each other but the next they are arguing and before you know it’s all all war and no peace.

Bickering kids is something almost all parents have asked at one time or another and it’s enough to make us feel crazy! There are few families who have not had to endure fighting siblings.

A poster on Bounty Parents Facebook page called on the community for advice, asking “How do you all put up with constant fighting from your kids?”

She continues: “My two boys are 8 and 6 and up until recently they would play for hours together but lately all they do is argue and bicker with each other. It’s driving me crazy. I’d love some advice on how to deal with it and get their relationship back on track. Help!”

And it seems that most people are looking for the same advice and didn’t have many solutions – but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered (keep scrolling).

One frustrated mum agreed with the stresses of having siblings that fight and shared the ways that she helps reduce the tension:

“I have two girls 6 & 4. I find the same thing from time to time. I tell them it’s not nice to hurt others & that its nice to share. I tell them how lucky they are to have each other & if they share with each other it makes each other feel happy.”

Several others mums jumped in and joined the cry for help!

“My boys are 7 and nearly 4 and my god they argue and fight full on too I think they are sick of each other bring on going back to school lol”

“My boys are 7 and 4 and they fight CONSTANTLY. If anyone ever finds a cure other then sending them to school or waiting for them to grow up, I’m all ears”

“I need to follow this post! My boys 6 and 5 have been non stop these school holidays

A couple of parents shared a similar approach – appealing to the kids’ better nature and planting the seeds of being kind to one another from a young age.

“Back when mine were young, it was always if you can’t be nice to each other, there are no friends allowed here. So make your choice…. You are sisters and nothing is changing that!”

“If u cant be friends with your siblings, no one else will want to be your friend either. Possibly they’re trying to get parents attention or needing more structured parenting. Free range isnt always the best for all families”

Encouraging kids to be kind to each from a young age is one tip offered by the community.

As well as encouraging them to treat everyone with respect, parents find a variety of practical tools can help break the pattern of behaviour.

These include having a list of jobs that you dole out every time they fight; making them sit, holding hands, or nose-to-nose; separating them; and spending one on one time with each of them.

Dr Justin Coulson from Happy Families shares his tried-and-tested tips on reducing sibling conflict below.

Be aware of the triggers that set your kids off.

10 tips to reduce sibling conflict

By Justin Coulson

  1. Give individual attention to all of your children. It will never be quite equal. But when someone needs it, be there for them. (Remember, girls like to be face to face, boys prefer side by side)
  2. When everyone needs attention and individual triage isn’t possible, either use distraction or do something together.
  3. Be aware of triggers (Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, Tiredness) and intervene early. If the children are tired and hungry, keep them separated if you can!
  4. Make sure the big ones don’t become parents to the little ones. “You’re not the boss of me!” means that someone may be over-exerting their authority and parents need to be more present.
  5. Be clear on your limits. “We are respectful. We speak nicely.”
  6. Avoid smacking. This models aggression and violence to our children. They’re more likely to repeat it.
  7. Teach children to soothe themselves. Staring at the sky, breathing, counting back from 1000 in 3’s… dig a hole in the sandpit to bury your anger, draw your frustration, listen to music. Each of these ideas can help a child relax.
  8. If you can name it you can tame it. If you sense a child is becoming frustrated, name it. This will help them know their emotions are normal and can be dealt with positively.
  9. Teach and model empathy.
  10. Remember that it’s tough being a sibling, especially when you’re young. Older siblings often ridicule and torment younger siblings. This is painful for anyone.