Soothing Sibling Squabbles

Nothing rivals more for my attention than when parents want some advice on sibling rivalry.  So this week let me try to bring some peace to the situation by providing some info on the topic.

Believe it or not, siblings who fight with each other may in the long run benefit by learning some very important skills such as valuing another’s perspective, how to compromise and negotiate, and how to control aggressive impulses before they have to disagree with someone outside of the family. 

Yet that doesn’t mean that lots of conflict is a good thing, so we still need to offer some alternatives to verbal or physical fighting between sibs.  Here are five  tips to keep in mind if you want to keep the peace between siblings:

Hopefully tips like this will knock-out most sibling fights and make everyone in your family feel like a winner when it comes to dealing with sibling rivalry.

Lewis First, M.D., is chief of Pediatrics at Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care and chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. You can also catch "First with Kids" weekly on WOKO 98.9FM and WPTZ Channel 5, or visit the First with Kids video archives at