Family Counselling for High Sibling Conflict
Is this normal? Do I need help?
Sibling rivalry is as old as time. Way back in the beginning Cain and Abel exhibited extreme jealousy and conflict. Once there are two people living together there will be conflict. But depending on personality, shared interests, and emotional intelligence some siblings actually have harmonious relationships. But, not all conflict is problematic or threatening. So why would you consider counselling?
If the insults, and threats are being internalised by one child, maybe a child who is very sensitive, and impairing their self-image. Sensitive kids can become anxious when overpowered by the anger or rage of another dominant or aggressive sibling. Aggressive sibling relationships can create domino effect extending from the home to school and general peer relationship difficulties (social withdrawal, poor social skills, peer rejection). Family therapy should be considered for both children.
Children fight, especially brothers, but if a child is being injured at the expense of a sibling repeatedly, you have a problem bigger than you. Honestly, if you were able to deal with it on your own, it would not be a repetitive problem. As a parent you have a responsibility to keep all your children safe. If you can’t provide safety get help before the external systems of governmental child protection services has to get involved.
Combative Family Culture
Every family has conflict. However if the general atmosphere of your home is tense, combative, and disconnected it could be problematic. Children thrive in an atmosphere of warmth, open expression of affection, acceptance, emotional intelligence and open communication and constructive problem solving. Power and domination in the home is associated with poorer outcomes for children.
Benefits of Family Play Therapy for Sibling Conflict
- Better communication
- Discover and encourage shared interest
- Relationship repair – apology and forgiveness
- Competition Skills – how to win, lose, and bounce back
- Problem solving & Conflict Resolution
- Relationship building skills
- Emotional fortitude for the highly sensitive child
PLAY THERAPY TECHNIQUES
- Art making and processing
Read More: How Play Helps Your Child Heal
FIND OUT ABOUT OUR FAMILY COUNSELLING SERVICES
Help for Families Canada serves children, parents, and families in South Edmonton and Downtown Edmonton area. We offer a play therapy for the children, art and talk therapy for teens, parent coaching for mom & dads, and family therapy.
Visit: Counselling Services
Related Therapy Resources for Child Psychologists or Social Workers
Siblings You Are Stuck Together so Stick Together
Bratty Brothers and Selfish Sisters