Siblings Need More Than Not Just Fighting

URBANA, Ill., July 21 (UPI) — A U.S. researcher encourages parents to examine goals they have for their children’s relationships and take actions to help kids achieve those goals.

“If you love the idea of your kids just having fun together, schedule more family activities and help to make that happen. If you do have big problems with fighting among your kids, help them learn and practice strategies for solving problems and managing conflicts,” Laura Kramer of the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences in Urbana says in a statement. “Even if you’re successful at reducing conflict and antagonism, research suggests that you’ll probably be left with little positive interaction between siblings.”

Some ways Kramer — creator of the More Fun with Sisters and Brothers program — says parents can help build positive, supportive bonds include:

– Helping a child to see things from a sibling’s perspective and to not to assume the worst.

– Teaching how to manage emotions and behaviors in challenging situations and to resolve conflicts.

– Meeting each child’s unique needs without showing favoritism.

– Praising children when they show one another support.

– Using family knowledge to strengthen bonds rather than to exploit weaknesses.

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