This post is written as part of the Round Table Discussions with Natural Parent Network volunteers. In an effort to discuss, support, and promote a kinder, more gentle world, we are taking an in depth view of various books. Our current book is Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life by Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. We hope you will join us with an open mind and a desire for change and growth.
The fifth chapter of Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings is titled “When Problem-Solving Fails: Teaching Conflict Resolution”. I learned A LOT from this chapter. It’s advice that really works in a lot of areas of life. It made me feel like a failure as a parent in this regard but instead of defeating me, I am choosing to take this as an opportunity to learn and grow.
I really appreciated the fact that Dr. Markham has a whole section on why fighting is important for relationship skill building. I think, sometimes, people have this idea that all conflict should be avoided at all costs. The cost is sometimes people don’t know how to deal with the inevitable conflicts that life will dish out. She says, “…if ‘peace’ depends on kids being forced to swallow their needs to accommodate siblings on a regular basis, it isn’t good for either child. Children need to develop their voices, learn how to express their needs, and try out strategies to meet their goals.” She does go on to say that the value in the conflict is the practice it gives to your children to find win-win situations. And this is where we as parents can help. 😉
I’ve dug up some of Dr. Markham’s articles to help you out if you don’t yet have the book. Of course, the book is the best source for all of the great information provided on this topic but this will get you started.
- Teaching Conflict Resolution is Like Teaching Kids to Load the Dishwasher
- How to Stop Siblings Fighting
- Should You Intervene in a Sibling Fight?
- How to Prevent Sibling Fighting
- How Can I Get My Kids to Stop Hitting Each Other?
So, my favorite part of this chapter is how it goes into all the different reasons kids argue and what need they are needing met. Then gives examples of each one and breaks down a good response. There is also a section on empowering kids to stand up to teasing. Really, there probably isn’t a scenario out there she doesn’t cover. It is very thorough!