Join The 3D Parent Village

Welcome to the 3D Parent Podcast!

My goal is to provide you with tools that help inform, empower and boost your confidence as a parent so you can make the best decisions possible for you and your family.  Parenting is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. I am here to guide you through the 3D Parent approach to parenting, so you can stop struggling and start celebrating all of the time you have with your children.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts

Supporting Sibling Relationships

May 18, 2021


“My topic today is going to be relevant while we are in the midst of the stay-at-home orders during this pandemic.  Right now, we have a lot of time for sibling togetherness and there's a lot of positives there, with families being together and spending so many hours of every day together, under one roof.” 


This week on the 3D Parent Podcast, we will be talking about supporting sibling relationships which I’m sure many of us are experiencing some challenges with in this extended time that we have to be together. At the root of a lot of these challenges is often sibling relationships.


We will go over topics such as: 


  • Managing sibling conflict
  • Encouraging sibling bonding
  • Unique (and possibly counterintuitive ways!) to foster less conflict and more strong relationships between your entire family


I hope the topics that we will discuss here will further your understanding toward supporting sibling relationships and not unintentionally feeding more sibling conflicts.



Things You Will Learn

[01:39] To start off the episode, we’re going to talk about sibling conflict. Some kids get along great, while other kids tend to have a very passionate relationship with a lot of fighting. Most of us experience a little bit of both, and with all this togetherness and time spent at home with schools closed, you're probably seeing some ebb and flows between your children and their relationships. If you have more than one child, chances are this is something you're very familiar with.

[04:58] The #1 strategy that is shared again and again when your kids get into a conflict is you need to separate them. That seems kind of obvious but a lot of times, parents will go right into trying to solve the problem and get their kids to get along right away. Sometimes, this method is possible but most of the time, the frustration level is just too high and there’s no way to make the kids talk through their issues in a way that is helpful. The key thing to do here is to separate your kids, get them focused on an activity, and in doing so, give them ample time to cool off. 

[06:25] We go back to the concept of the first D in the 3D parent which is dignity. It can be really helpful to bear this in mind when separating your kids or maybe a child who seems to be particularly frustrated with what’s going on. What your child needs at this point is to have a safe space where they can vent their frustrations privately, neither in front of an audience nor in front of their sibling that they’re having a challenge with. That way, they can express their frustrations while still keeping their dignity. 

[09:13] As parents, we need to be reminded sometimes that our kids are still young and emotionally immature. Sometimes the thought of letting them figure things out on their own crosses our minds. However, as the mature adult, we need to be the one to offer ourselves as a resource for them. So when a problem arises, we can help before things get out of control. 

[10:31] Another suggestion that I have for dealing with sibling conflict is to avoid the use of even and fair language. Most of us parents who have more than one child probably heard our kids say, “It’s not fair!”, more times than we can ever hope to hear for the rest of our lives. It seems to be the warcry of children who have siblings. What you need to learn is to embrace the idea that things aren’t going to be fair and they might be different. It also takes a lot of experience for our kids to embrace this idea that not everything is going to look exactly the same, and when they aren’t, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not fair. So, rather than jumping right into the fairness, focus on what else really needs to be communicated instead. 

[13:05] If your kids are prone to a lot of aggression and get into a lot of physical altercations that involve actions like hitting or kicking, it can be a really good idea to present playtime activities for them to do when they’re getting along that are aggressive in nature. Great examples of these include “fights” using water balloons, pompoms, paper balls, and pillows. You know your own kids enough to determine if these things start to get out of control and while they’re at it, these activities can be a really good way to release an aggressive steam between siblings. 

[14:38] Once you find a common area of conflict between your kids, it becomes the perfect opportunity to set up a type of rule and structure around it. For instance, if your kids are always fighting over their places at the dining table during mealtime, you can arrange a table arrangement for them to follow which is applicable right now and can be rearranged next month. This rule and structure will help decrease the amount of conflict in a particular area for your children. 

[17:33] The next tip to address the conflict among your kids is to avoid falling into the trap of being judge and jury. If you haven’t been privy to the conflict, you’d try to hear both sides as they make their cases then decide who’s right, who’s wrong, who loses, who gets something and so on. You want to avoid being in that situation 100% because it just fosters more and more sibling conflict. What you need to do is help coach your children through expressing when they have a problem until eventually they make amends. 

[20:00] I will let my two youngest kids, Maisie and Reed, explain to you what a “check-in” means in our house. Basically, this is the term we have for taking responsibility when we aim to create an opportunity for the kids to express themselves and be heard. They will explain what you should do during a check-in and if you should say “I’m sorry” every time. Spoiler alert: We’ll do a bit of a roleplay here wherein my kids will act out an example of what a check-in might sound like in our household. 

[23:32] Now, I want to talk about how we can help with sibling bonding. What you’re trying to do is find ways to endear kids to one another by being this in-between person that helps siblings foster feelings of love toward one another. You can find a lot of opportunities to share your comments and observations to your kids that are really positive for them and their siblings. The key is to deliver your inputs in private, as if you’re sharing a little secret with your child. Your aim is to aid in forming endearing feelings between or among your children and their siblings. 

[26:17] Now I want to share this lesson from foremost authority on child development, Dr. Neufeld: you need to encourage the natural hierarchy that exists within families. This natural hierarchy consists of you, parents, at the top, followed by the siblings, in which the birth order will be followed. This natural order is to be acknowledged and even celebrated. In our own family for instance, the oldest child enjoys more privileges yet at the same time has more responsibilities than the rest since he is older in age. You can advise the younger kids that when they get to this certain age, they will get to do those or have this or that thing as well. Through this natural hierarchy, you can also encourage your older child to be natural leaders and teach their younger siblings in the process.



Quotes From Episode 27

“A lot of parents sometimes think, ‘Oh man, I just let my kids sort it out for themselves.’ That would be wonderful if we were dealing with fully evolved, mature human beings. We're not.”

“Often, behavior is communication. A lot of times, it is not about fairness, it's about addressing the fact that your child just maybe needs more. It's not about keeping things even or fair. It's about the fact that I'm trying to meet your needs. ”

“There are positive ways of using the hierarchy that exists in your family in a way that can really promote cohesiveness as opposed to constantly fighting about fairness and keeping things even if you want to actually take advantage of what is naturally given to you.”



Let's work together! I provide 1:1 support for parents motivated to make positive changing in their parenting and gain confidence and increase fulfillment in their role as parents. If this sounds like it might be what you've been looking for, book a free consultation today.

Book a call


Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from The 3D Parent.

Want more of The 3D Parent Podcast?

Be sure to leave us a review on iTunes!

Leave a Review

Download my FREE Homework Survival Kit!

Download Now

About Your Host

I’m Beaven Walters, your host and guide on this crazy and fulfilling journey as a parent.

As a certified parent coach, parent educator and mom of 4 children, I am passionate about helping parents navigate the tough stuff while maintaining dignity, direction and deep connection in your family relationships.  I have spent over 10 years teaching in a variety of educational settings with multiple age groups, and now I am delighted to bring those experiences to you at home. Throughout this podcast, we will cover topics such as tantrums, sibling conflict, screen time overload and transitioning into the teenage years.

My goal is to provide you with tools that help inform, empower and boost your confidence as a parent so you can make the best decisions possible for you and your family.  Parenting is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone.

I am here to guide you through the 3D Parent approach to parenting, so you can stop struggling and start celebrating all of the time you have with your children.