Sibling Quibbling

Question: My two boys, ages three and five have a way of constantly arguing about the slightest things. Is there a way to end this problem? It is very wearing.

Answer: That’s an easy one. Absolutely yes. Your job as a parent is to do whatever you can to help both your children have the finest experiences every day. One day influences the next, and every minute counts. Arguing produces negative energy, and that is not good.

What do you do? Here is a three-part formula to follow every time.

  • Stop the problem.
  • Figure out what caused it.
  • Teach both children how not to have the same kind of problem again.

Next, help each child get re-directed in a more positive way.

Believe it or not, if you keep following this formula, your boys will soon pick up on it and start to use it themselves. Just like any kind of positive attention, it is much better than negative. In the end the positive energy will feel much more fulfilling to them both.

Remember, “You are child’s first and most important teacher.”  When something has gone wrong, it cannot be undone. There is no need to dwell on it. What is most important is for everyone involved to learn from it. On the very highest level, your boys will be learning from your example.



  1. DR Sally Great post ! Great 3 steps.
    I also love the faber mazlish book “siblings without rivalry “.

    I suggest to parents to become behavior detectives your number 2:)
    what feelings are hiding under the fighting?

    I find generally underlying the fighting is one child is feeling jealous and that is a hard feeling.
    We need to address the feeling with empathy, I am sorry, thats a hard feeling, lets try to work it out.
    Sometimes we have to look at our parenting and see if we are favoriting one child over another without realizing it.
    Sometimes kids are mimicking parents fighting so we need to role model and teach better communication skills

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