When Sibling Rivalry Turns Violent Or Abusive: How Family Therapy Can Help
Sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up with brothers and sisters. It is typical for children to fight for the attention and affection of their parents and even acceptable for brothers and sisters to compete against each other in an attempt to gain more favor with their parents. More serious problems arise when children become violent or abusive towards each other and it begins to impact their emotional and psychological well-being. If one or more of your children seem to be more violent or abusive in their behaviors towards their siblings, you may need family therapy. Here are some examples of how family therapy can help.
Getting to the Bottom of the Negative Feelings and Actions
There is always a love-hate relationship between siblings at some point in their lives. However, when that relationship moves beyond hate to a point where you are concerned that one child might hurt or harm the other(s), you need to find out why. Family therapy helps children and parents get to the bottom of the negative feelings they have towards family members and helps uncover unresolved issues that maybe your children are not even able to understand or voice without help. Once you can figure out why your most hostile child reacts to another or others in the way that he or she does, you can develop a treatment plan or course of action to help this child become more positive and/or less reactive to what the other children say or do.
Learning New Approaches
Unless you have a degree in counseling or child development, you may be unaware of approaches you can take when one child is verbally abusive or violently aggressive toward a sibling. Attending family therapy could teach you and the kids how to cope better with daily stress and how to deal with family members that are bugging you. These new approaches often include behavior modification, breathing techniques, learning to walk away from a potentially bad situation, and learning not to let someone get under your skin.
Keeping Certain Siblings Separated Until the Issues Are Fully Healed/Resolved
If you are already aware of some abusive and violent behavior between certain siblings, your family therapist may advise you to keep these siblings separated as much as you can until the issues are fully resolved and everyone is "healed." This helps protect your targeted child(ren) from the child who takes a more hostile tone and approach with his or her siblings.
Meeting with a family therapist from a company like Teri Role-Warren will help you learn how to deal with violence issues and other issues.