Siblings Fighting: Tips to End Rivalry

15 March, 2022
Q I have two children, aged 10 and 13. They are good youngsters and outside they behave well, but at home they are constantly arguing and bickering with each other. There is always rivalry and quarrels. I feel like I spend half my life disciplining one or the other. Is there anything I can do to help them get along and stop the conflicts?


As-salamu `alaykum

Thank you for your question and your interest in helping your children to stop arguing and bickering with each other.

Actually, strong and stable sibling relationships should always be permanent. Siblings share a lifetime of memories and stories. This shared history is priceless and becomes more valuable as they get older.

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Except for moments of sibling rivalry, they usually turn to each other for entertainment, support, and advice. Sibling relationships, however, often change as they grow.

Most siblings argue and quarrel occasionally and some rivalry is normal and should not always be seen as negative behavior. Sometimes it has a positive side as it may give children a chance to stand up for their rights, to learn to give and take and share. Although siblings have differences of opinions and different behavior towards each other, their relationships can be shaped in a healthy way.

Try to manage your children’s rivalries and quarrels positively. Not only to have peace in your home, but also to enable your children to grow up to see each other not only as brother and sister, but as closest friends.

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To Deal With Your Children’s Rivalry and Quarrels Try the Following

  • Do not intervene between them because the more you intervene, the more you will be called to intervene. When possible, stay out of your children’s disagreements.
  • Allow them to settle the quarrels by themselves as much as possible. Most arguments between siblings do not need parental involvement. But when an argument escalates into harsh and abusive language or becomes physical, parents do need to get involved. When siblings learn how to resolve conflicts at a young age, they grow up to regard each other not only as brothers and sisters but also as the closest of lifelong friends.
  • If you do become involved in the quarrel, help your children clarify what they are arguing about. Encourage each child to describe the problem for a minute or two while the other child listens without interrupting. Also, let them find their own solution whenever possible since it’s their problem.
  • Avoid taking sides or assigning guilt. When you take sides, you set up a new fight. Do not compare them and do not categorize them as good children and bad children and never let them feel that one of them is valued more than the other(s).
Siblings Fighting: Tips to End Rivalry - About Islam

If the Quarrel Becomes Annoying

1. Ask your children to be quiet.
2. If they continue arguing loudly, separate them.
3. If they are arguing over an object such as the TV, don’t allow either to watch, which means punishing both of your children, especially if they are hurting each other.
4. When you feel you are going to explode, give yourself a timeout. Try not to act disrespectful or bad-tempered with your children.

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Parents should strengthen sibling relationships for the benefit of their children

  • Provide siblings with opportunities to share time and activities, despite differences in age.
  • Allow siblings to work through their own disagreements with the aim of building a relationship with each other.
  • Parents need to facilitate and maintain strong sibling ties.
  • Adult siblings must practice mutual support and cooperation during the family upheaval.
  • Give special attention to important life events. Providing time to share with siblings is important.
  • Sibling rivalry may actually turn into sibling collaboration. Encourage it for all its worth.

I hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to write again if you ever need anything else.

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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This article is from our archive, originally published at an earlier date, and now republished for its importance.