Less Competition, More Cooperation! – How To Help Siblings Get Along
Sibling rivalry is nothing new. Heck, even Biblical mommas had issues dealing with competitive kiddos (ahem, Cain and Abel)! Although conflict is a fact of life, it’s never a pleasant experience to witness firsthand. Thankfully, there are many proactive ways new mommas could encourage their little ones to be a little more peaceful.
Sibling rivalry is nothing new. Heck, even Biblical mommas had issues dealing with competitive kiddos (ahem, Cain and Abel)!
Although conflict is a fact of life, it’s never a pleasant experience to witness firsthand. Thankfully, there are many proactive ways new mommas could encourage their little ones to be a little more peaceful.
Below, I’m going to share a few games new mommas could use to diffuse sibling rivalry. Hopefully, guiding your little ones to one of these activities will help cool their hot tempers.
How To Help Siblings Get Along – Four Fun Cooperative Activities
Have a Laugh at the “Ministry Of Silly Walks”
Do you remember that old Monty Python skit where John Cleese heads the “Ministry of Silly Walks?” Well, why not bring some of that silliness into your home?
Gather everyone in the family and give your silly walk a shot! Better yet, take turns telling another family member to walk across the room like an animal…or an imaginary creature!
If you have a few fashionistas in the house, you can turn this silly walk game into a runway model show. Grab a few funky clothes from around the house and give everyone a chance to strut their stuff in the “latest fashions.”
The main idea behind these games is to get everyone in a good mood. As we all know, it’s far easier to work through arguments when we don’t feel so “serious.”
Create A Team-Building Treasure Hunt
One great way to get your little ones to work together is to devise a creative “treasure hunt.” Hide a few clues throughout your home that lead to a treasure chest full of your kiddos’ favorite treats.
The point of this activity is to get your kiddos cooperating rather than competing. If possible, devise your clues so each of your little ones needs each other to answer problems. And make sure your puny pirates share their “buried treasure” once they find it!
Give Synchronized Drawing a Try
Another fantastic way to help your little ones bond is to try an activity called “synchronized drawing.” Don’t worry — this isn’t as complicated as it sounds. All you need for this fun game is a sheet of paper, a pencil and two markers.
First, draw a line down the center of your paper. Next, give both kiddos one marker each and assign one to be the “leader.” Your little leader can draw whatever he wants on his side of the paper, but the other participant must copy what the leader does IN REAL TIME!
Obviously, for the best result, both kiddos have to slow down and work together. However, this game can be quite giggle-inducing whenever the leader makes sharp moves!
To keep the game fair, be sure to swap the leader and follower roles in game two.
Are you struggling to envision how this game works? Here’s a YouTube link that’ll clear up all your confusion.
Learn More About Everyone on “Family Trivia Night”
Another great way to build a bond between siblings is to hold a family trivia night. Have everyone write down a series of questions about themselves on a few pieces of paper. Once everyone is ready, go around in a circle and see who can answer the most questions.
A few great questions to consider are “What’s my favorite color?” or “What is my favorite movie?” You could also put a few questions like “Where did grandpa and grandma immigrate from?” to make this activity a fantastic learning experience.
This simple activity is a great way to open the lines of communication and build trust in your home. Although the questions you use in this game may not be too deep, they are personal nonetheless. Playing this game a few times may help your kiddos feel more comfortable sharing more intimate emotions.
Remember the “Three Cs” – Cooperation, Control and Chuckles!
Whatever activity you choose to use, I always advise new mommas to make sure it passes the “three Cs:” cooperation, control and chuckles. Let me run through the “CCC criteria” quickly.
Since competition is usually at the root of sibling rivalries, it’s important to promote activities that emphasize cooperation. You want your little ones to understand that everyone has a significant role to play in your family.
Next, you want to ensure your more vulnerable kiddos feel a sense of control. By giving timid kiddos more responsibility in games, you are encouraging a healthy sense of self-respect and confidence. On the flip side, you can teach more aggressive kiddos the importance of humility and respect.
Last, but certainly not least, “chuckles” make it way easier for everyone to forgive and forget. At times, even adults take themselves way too seriously. Sometimes we need a good laugh to gently remind ourselves we’re all going to make mistakes. Try your best to model an attitude of “laughing away” your mistakes rather than trying to hide your foibles.
If It’s Not Working, Don’t Force It!
As a final tip, please don’t feel discouraged if your activities aren’t working as planned. If you notice the tempers between your kiddos are way too hot, then it’s best to encourage them to do separate activities for a while. After everyone has had time to cool off, try to come together with one of these bonding activities.
So, what do you think of my sibling rivalry tips? Are you going to give them a go? Send me a DM on Instagram @windycitynanny and share how you keep the peace between your kiddos!