Prayers for Parents
Day 18: War of the Siblings
“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” —Romans 12:10
“That’s mine! Give it back!” “He has more than I do!” “She pulled my hair!” “Mom! Tell her to get out of my room!”
Ever feel like a referee in your own home? If you have more than one child, you can relate. Or you soon will. Sibling rivalry is normal. Competition between siblings for just about everything, including your attention, will happen throughout childhood and into the teen years. But believe it or not, this competition can be minimized and balanced with love.
One of the best ways to minimize sibling rivalry is to help your children forge strong, loving relationships with one another. You can do this by making sure that they spend quality time together. Guide them in shared activities and help them find common interests. Play family games. Take them on family outings and help them make special memories together. At mealtimes, encourage them to engage in meaningful conversation. Make this kind of face-to-face interaction a family habit.
What’s more, show them how to serve and do special things for one another from time to time. This will teach your children to put their siblings above themselves and to care about one another’s interests and not just their own (see Philippians 2:3-4). As their relationship strengthens, the rivalry between them will become less frequent and intense. But understand that no siblings will have a perfect relationship, which is why it’s important to make sure that in your home love, grace, and forgiveness abound.
Prayers for parents
- Thank God that He has chosen your children to be siblings. Ask Him to make them close, to remove their selfish pride, and to give them a deep love for each other.
- Pray that God would help you to handle sibling rivalry in ways that will teach your children how to respect one another and how to communicate and resolve conflict well.
- Ask God to give you fun ways to help your children enjoy one another’s company and to make special memories together.
- If you are in a newly adoptive or blended family, ask God for creative ways to help the new siblings grow to accept, love, and support one another, and to forge strong relationships over time.