Youth Alternatives: Avoid Grown-Up Sibling Rivalries During Holidays

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CHEYENNE, Wyo - Going home for the holidays can be like going back in time. One foot over the threshold and you go from 40 to 14 and are just as mad at your goodie-two shoe baby sister as you were the day she blabbed on you.

Photo: Connie Ma / CC BY-SA 2.0

Cheyenne Youth Alternatives sent us some advice on establishing grown up relationships with your siblings.

-Check your baggage.
We have a lot of memories with our siblings, good and bad. Anything that needs to be hashed over is nothing that needs to be discussed at a holiday gathering.

-Mind your manners.
If your mom would be proud of the manners you use everywhere else, make sure she can see them in action. Courtesy costs nothing.

-Be mindful of who is watching.
How can you tell your kids not to fight with each other if they watch you fighting with your siblings?

-You are not seven any more. Neither are they.
These are people that you used to share everything with, hand-me-down clothes, spankings, colds. But you don’t any more. You have grown up and so have they. You all have your own opinions and have made good and bad decisions. Take a few minutes to get to know the adult you used to make mud-pies with.

-Stop competing.
You used to compete for time and attention. You don’t have to now. This isn’t a job interview. Find non-competitive games and activities, games like Apples to Apples, Things, or Cards Against Humanity that start conversations and don’t have to be win or lose. Shut off your phone and be present with the people you are with. Sibling rivalry is something all siblings have endured. The stress of the holidays makes it worse, but these tips can help all year long.