1. Appreciate their similarities and their differences, and teach them to do the same.
2. Provide opportunities for them to play both together and alone.
3. Catch them being good: Reward them for getting along with positive attention..
4. Don’t referee every skirmish: Teach them how to negotiate and compromise with each other.
5. Let them complain about you to each other – it builds their bond and gives them someone to talk to about their feelings. This will be most helpful when they are teenagers, so build the bond now.
6. Discover interests that they share and arrange times for them to pursue those interests together.
7. Don’t feed rivalry by showing favouritism or by comparing them to each other in negative, or even positive, ways.
8. Assume the best. Even if they bicker it doesn’t mean they hate each other. Many bicker-y siblings grow up to be the best of friends.
9. Eat dinner as a family. Let the kids make the meal together once a month. Let them organise, shop and cook if you can. Eat what they make with joy. Having “team success” will bring them closer.
10. Teach that ‘fair’ doesn’t mean ‘equal.’ Help your child focus on his own needs rather than what his sibling has.
11. Tell them you love them – often. A well-loved child is a happier child and more likely to get along with siblings and friends.
Elizabeth Pantley, author of the No-Cry Solution book series for parents.