Parents usually fail to intervene in escalated sibling conflict, according to a study recently published in “Developmental Psychology,” even though they think they should intervene. And this lack of parental action often results in life-long psychological problems, often severe, especially for the younger children who were victimized.
Here’s how parents can help:
- AVOID TAKING SIDES, because it may spur feelings of jealousy or increased hostility.
- ACKNOWLEDGE children’s feelings, encouraging them to learn to communicate with one another.
- SUGGEST ways that children might learn how to solve problems independently.
- DON’T PUNISH children without an explanation – and don’t threaten them.
- SET LIMITS by clearly identifying the types of behavior that are not acceptable.
(Laurie Kramer,in “Developmental Psychology”)