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How To Head Off Sibling Rivalry.


Siblings, who can figure them out? One minute they hate each other, the next minute they’re each other’s best friend. They insult each other horribly but rise to each other’s defense if an outsider bothers one of them. Siblings support each other and wish each other the best, that is, during those rare moments when they’re not out to beat each other in some real or concocted competition. Love and hate, closeness and distance, respect and loathing: for complexity, nothing beats the relationship between siblings.

Regardless of age, gender, and temperament difference, all siblings fight sometimes. And although children deserve the right to have their differences, its certainly a reasonable goal for a parent to want to decrease the frequency and intensity of sibling conflict and lessen its impact on family life.

Here are a list of things you can do to help:

*Don’t play favorites- the sibling at the short end of the stick will feel that he/she has to fight for your love

*Spend one-on-one time with each child- making time for each sibling goes a long way to ease feelings of competition

*Don’t pressure your children to get along- If they learn to respect, support, and be kind to each other, it is a successful relationship

*Stop keeping score- trying to be completely even handed is not only impossible, but it intensifies the competition

*Set a good example- the way you interact with your spouse, other adults, and with your children will be used as a model


For information on how we can help your family solve these conflicts visit our website or give us a call to set up an appointment with an experienced counselor! (813) 244-1251

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Fighting Big = Big Resolution


Some say that having a screaming match with their partner is effective, because it shows that there is passion in the relationship. But can having big fights with your partner end in big resolutions?

Disagreements are normal and can even strengthen relationships, if resolved in a healthy manner. In close relationships, feeling frustrated, misunderstood, or having differences in opinion is natural. Therefore, it is expected that there may be an emotional combustion. By fighting big (i.e. arguing), this allows for stressors to be released, and in turn, leads to a solution. Boundaries can be established as a result of these differences, and partners can establish their own fighting style to effectively approach these conflicts.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, couples in satisfying relationships who have negative communication, are more likely to have bigger conflicts, but this is usually followed by bigger resolutions by both partners. An internet questionnaire was given to couples in a satisfying relationship, and to couples in an unhappy relationship. The self-reported data from the questionnaire relayed how the couples felt during the conflict and how they currently feel about it. This was used as a measure of the progress the participants made toward progress.

Results revealed that the presence of negative communication in satisfying relationships was associated with bigger conflicts, but that these conflicts were generally followed by big resolutions. However, the presence of negative communication in unhappy relationships was associated with big conflicts, as well as trouble finding a resolution, regardless of the type of communication they used. These findings highlight how a couple can have a big fight, feel upset, reach an argument, and then feel happy with one another again. A much stronger predictor of progress toward conflict resolution is a person’s level of relationship satisfaction. Conclusively, keeping a feeling of satisfaction alive in a relationship is more important than the type of communication used to resolve conflicts.

You can read the entire article from Medical Daily here:

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