Parenting Tips for Sibling Rivalry

You love your children, but they don't always seem to love each other. Are you tired of the constant fighting and arguing that come with sibling rivalry? Empowering Parents tells you how to handle sibling rivalry effectively and restore peace in your home.

6 Ways to Stop Sibling Bickering and Rivalry

“Mom, he just called me a bad name.”  “I did not, you liar!” “He did too, Mom, and he always does; you just never see it!” “Get lost, you brat; you’re such a baby!” “I hate you!” Read More

Inside Your Teen's Brain: 7 Things Your Teenager Really Wants You to Know

Have you ever wondered what’s going on inside of your teenager’s head? What was she thinking when she made that choice? Why won’t he listen to what I’m telling him? It can seem as if an adolescent is completely wrapped up in a separate world, feet planted firmly in the air instead of on the ground.  As parents, we often come away bewildered or frustrated when our teen’s perspective seems so utterly different from our own. Read More

How to Talk to Teens: 3 Ways to Get Your Teen to Listen

You know the drill: you’re trying to talk to your teen about curfew. Or dinner. Or absolutely anything—and they pretend they can’t hear you. They start an argument with you, or give you an eye roll and a "Whatever." Or they turn up their music. They won’t lift their eyes from their screens. They scoff or grunt in your general direction. There’s no eye contact, no acknowledgement, and absolutely no hint of, “Yes, Mom, I understand what you’re saying to me.” Read More

Anger, Rage and Explosive Outbursts: How to Respond to Your Child or Teen's Anger

Everyone gets mad sometimes, children and adults alike. Anger is an emotion that can range from slightly irritated to moderately angry, all the way to full-blown rage. A child’s anger often makes us feel uncomfortable, so there can be a natural tendency to try and change the situation for your child, so the anger will evaporate. Or on the flip side, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “bringing down the hammer,” to put a stop to the anger through intimidation or punishment. But the fact is, your child will experience situations that may trigger anger throughout life. You can’t stop the triggers, but you can give your child the tools to understand anger and deal with it. Read More

Sibling Fighting: 5 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Get Along

We’ve all heard the following phrases from our kids: “Stop touching me!” “Give that back!” “Knock it off!” “MOM, he took my stuff!” “DAD, she won’t stay on her side of the car!” Sometimes it’s simply annoying and frustrating, like fingernails on a chalkboard. Other times, arguments cross the line into verbal and physical abuse. If you’re the parent of an oppositional, defiant child, you know that when they butt heads with brothers or sisters, they usually go “all in.” What starts as something minor quickly escalates to full-blown fighting and things can quickly get out of control. Parents often end up in the role of referee, just trying to regain peace in the home. Read More

Kids Fighting? Read This Before Summer Starts

Why are our kids often at each other’s throats in the summer? The biggest cause of fighting during the long summer break is the fact that you’re spending a whole lot of time together. If external stresses increase, so does the tension inside your house. We all start to feel boxed in when this happens, and it’s easy to lose your temper at moments like these. Your kids begin to act out, too—the typical pattern of name–calling, teasing, criticizing and bossing each other around increases until the atmosphere is thick with everyone’s annoyance and bad feelings. Read More

Siblings at War in Your Home? (Declare a Ceasefire Now!)

Sibling rivalry is normal in families with more than one child. It becomes a problem when one child bullies or dominates the other. It’s also a more complex issue than it first appears. On the surface, you have two kids who are “at war”—who bicker constantly and don’t get along. There can be many reasons for this, but at the core of this rivalry is a common theme that runs through it all: the sense that one sibling is the victim of the other and somehow “less than.” And that child often believes that he gets less love from his parents than his acting out brother or sister does. Read More

The Lost Children: When Behavior Problems Traumatize Siblings

Children who grow up with a chronically defiant, oppositional sibling grow up in an environment of trauma. According to James Lehman, "It’s traumatizing when something hurtful happens to you, and you can’t control it, you can’t stop it, you can’t predict how hurtful it’s going to be, and you can’t predict when or whether it’s going to happen." Here, he discusses how parents can reduce the traumatic effects of hostile behavior on siblings and how to help “the lost child” in the family. Read More

Sibling Rivalry: Good Kid vs. Bad Kid

Are you tired of being the referee for all your kids’ fights? Do they constantly argue, leaving you exhausted and frustrated as a parent, wondering where you went wrong with them? Carole Banks, MSW, LCSW is the manager of the Parental Support Line for the Total Transformation Program, and in this article she gives helpful advice that will empower you to you "stop the sibling rivalry show" and start enjoying being a parent again. The most important thing to remember: never place your children in the roles of "good kid" and "bad kid." Read More