Conflict Resolution  for Siblings

Sibling rivalry is a typical part of growing up and childhood, but that doesn’t mean that there always needs to be loud and constant bickering and arguments. With a few conflict resolution skills, siblings can learn to communicate effectively, express their needs in a healthy way, and find solutions that work!

Here are 5 conflict resolution skills for siblings:

  1. Cool down. It’s hard to have a productive conversation when you’re both angry or upset and in the Red zone. Take some time to cool down before trying to talk about the problem. Take a few long and slow deep breaths, go for a walk, or listen to calming music.
  2. Listen to each other. When you have had your turn to talk, really listen to what your sibling has to say. Try to see things from their perspective and avoid interrupting.
  3. I-statements. Use “I statements” to express your feelings without blaming or coming across as attacking to your sibling. For example, I feel…..when…… Instead of saying, “You always take my things!”, try saying, “I feel frustrated when I can’t find my things.”
  4. Problem Solving. Once you’ve both had a chance to talk, it’s time to start problem solving solutions. Come up with a few different ideas and be willing to compromise.
  5. Agree to disagree. Sometimes, you won’t be able to agree on a solution. That’s okay! Just agree to disagree and move on. You can always revisit the issue later when you’ve both had some time to cool down.

Remember, learning effective communication is key here. The more you talk to each other, the better you’ll understand each other and the easier it will be to resolve any conflicts.

Here are some further additional tips for resolving conflict with your siblings:

  • Avoid name-calling and put-downs. These will only make the situation worse.
  • Be respectful of each other’s belongings. Ask before you borrow something, and put things back where you found them.
  • Try to use 2 conflict resolution tools before going to an adult when having an argument. For example: If you have a problem with your sibling, talk to them directly and try I Statements. 
  • Spend some quality time together doing things you both enjoy. This will help you build a stronger relationship and make it easier to resolve conflicts.

With a little practice, you and your siblings can learn to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts in a healthy way. So give it a go!


Written by:
Renee Butler
SACAC Counselling