Many experts say that siblings should work things out for themselves. It teaches them how to resolve conflict on their own. That's somewhat valid.
BUT...when does sibling rivalry become bullying?
Your kids bicker and sometimes get physical. Most of the time it blows over but it's escalating. It seems like every time they walk in the house, they're at it.
Although there's a two year difference, your younger child really has the upper hand. As she's getting older, she knows how to push her brother's buttons.
You try to give them a little space and handle it on their own but one day your son comes out of school feeling dejected. He was one of the few kids not chosen for the science fair. When he tells you what happened, his sister sort of laughs and says "That's because you're stupid."
Here's where the 10 seconds comes in. When you get in the house, you ask to see your daughter privately. Then you tell her in no uncertain terms that what she said crossed a line. You tell her that you would never let anyone get away with saying that to her and the same goes for her brother. You then tell her to sincerely apologize to her brother...and then figure out some appropriate punishment...and then FOLLOW THROUGH.
Why be so firm? It's important for BOTH kids. This is what bullying prevention expert, founder of Bully Safe USA and author, SuEllen Fried had to say,
Research indicates a strong connection between sibling bullying and peer bullying. More than half of victims of bullying by siblings were involved in bullying behavior at school. The sibling relationship is the most long lasting of all relationships and according to studies, the most violent. Fifty-three out of every 100 children abuse siblings. As our society was in denial about peer bullying for centuries, so are we in denial about the devastation of sibling bullying.
So it's not o.k. to let them truly be mean to each other. It can affect both negatively for a lifetime.
So enough bullying talk. Thought a perfect way to end this post is to make the family smile. You can't bully while you watch this. It has over 3 million hits for a reason: