Play games to help end the sibling rivalry.

Games to Teach Kids to Respect Siblings

by Jaimie Zinski

Does your typical day generally involving breaking up fights between your kids, and you're ready for a dramatic change? Instead of locking everyone in their separate rooms, help teach your kids to respect, or at least tolerate, one another. Hopefully, these simple games will help end the fighting long enough for you to enjoy a few minutes of blissful peace.

1. Team Work

According to the University of Michigan Health System, many times sibling rivalry comes from a need for kids to feel a strong sense of identity. While that's important, it's also critical for siblings to work together as a team. Help build a stronger family unit by completing an enjoyable task as a family. Challenge another family to a relay race or play a game with another family that involves building a better bridge from toothpicks and marshmallows. Whatever you choose, pay attention to emphasize the fact that your kids are stronger together than apart.

2. Hey, That's My Stuff

A major source of animosity in the home might be your children's unwillingness to share their toys. This unwillingness might turn into a full-fledged fight, but there are ways to let your kids see why sharing is the better option through a game called “Hey, that's my stuff.” Go into your children's bedroom and choose one or two items from each that his sibling covets, such as a video game system or a favorite stuffed toy. For one week, all children in the home are allowed free reign on the items, but are instructed to treat them with care. If the kids are able to play nice with one another's things for one week, the whole family is treated to a movie night or a trip to the nearby water park.

3. Why My Sibling is Awesome

It might be difficult to convince your kids that their siblings are anything other than a nuisance, which is where playing a game of “Why my sibling is awesome” comes into play. Sit everyone down, preferably when your kids aren't fighting over the last chocolate chip cookie, and hand them each a piece of paper and a pen. Give everyone five minutes to write down or draw at least five interesting or awesome things about their sibling. Remind your preschooler that he finds it funny when his little brother spits peas across the room. Help your toddlers or preschoolers write down the words or create drawings about their siblings. After five minutes, ask the kids to hand over the paper and read the responses out loud. The kid with the best responses is provided a prize. However, the real treat will be a whole hour without a fight.

4. Alone Time

If your older toddlers or preschoolers aren't getting along, and you're going crazy, let them tend after themselves. Pretend that you're out for the evening -- which means hiding out in your bedroom. Inform the kids they're in charge of keeping the house neat and taking care of one another. Hide inside your bedroom and watch the game unfold. If a fight breaks out, be there to referee, otherwise you'll be amazed at how much fun your kids will have when left to themselves.

About the Author

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.

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