In the smh.com.au website today an article titled Squabbling siblings learn a valuable lesson suggests that letting your children argue actually teaches your children conflict resolution and strengthens their relationship.

Three years ago I wrote a post on my other blog titled Would You Punch a Sibling?

My inspiration for that post was my brother and sister who fought incessantly, both verbally and physically. Their particular course of conflict resolution was to stop interacting.

As the article suggests, I think the problem with my brother and sister was that they simply were not shown how to resolve conflict.

But the article goes onto to say

parents under stress often separated children quickly because they did not want them to say unpleasant things to each other.

Not so with my brother and sister, my mother simply asked them to move out of the way; she was trying to watch tv. Something tells me she had given up trying to sort them out.

So my question in my original post was, would you, did you punch a sibling? And what if you are an only child? Who do only children fight with?

Related post

Who was the Bigger Influence? Parents or Siblings?


  • At 2010.07.22 15:16, Tamar said:

    Yes I would, because I have! Don’t all siblings hit each other?
    I was actually thinking about this the other day, kids do need to sort things out for themselves, when they’re old enough to do so. I remember a strategy I used to use with my brother. Whenever we were fighting, both people who hit would get in trouble from my mum. So our strategy was, if you were copping the hitting you had the power. If you didn’t hit back, you could tell mum and not get in trouble. If you did hit back, you wouldn’t tell mum so neither of you get in trouble, so that definitely brought us closer. So I remember distinctly hitting my brother and in a panic yelling “hit me back” so he wouldn’t ‘dob’ on me.

    • At 2010.07.22 15:43, Robbie said:

      Mine is a resounding NO ! I always hated physical violence, however having said that. I grew up in a family where “verbal violence” was rife.
      The problem with physical violence, especially with boys, is how do they learn that after a certain age it is no longer acceptable to resolve issues with blows ? My oldest son lerned this the hard way when he was faced with an assault charge at the age of 15, even though he had been incited, the law is the law.
      We live in very different times, to when we were growing up, as to what is and isn’t socially acceptable. So the challenge is to teach our children conflict resolution skills that are not going to land them in more trouble.

      • At 2010.07.22 17:16, Marie said:

        Yes! I agree that rough play is an important part of growing up, and as odd as it sounds, and important part of the bond between your siblings. It can help to teach forgiveness and compromise as well. However, as with all things child related, the parents role is equally key! It’s their responsibility to let their kids know where the line is, and that while it’s acceptable between siblings, not so much with other kids! (Thats what I meant about the bond between siblings).

        • At 2010.07.22 18:56, Enzo said:

          I’m a bloke.

          I have two sisters.

          You don’t hit girls.

          There’s my answer.

          • At 2010.07.23 18:39, Straun said:

            My bro was / is an ape of a bloke so used his size to bully whenever possible. My lesson was get strong & fit so I was enough of a threat that he would leave me alone. This became obvious when we had a massive brawl with knees, elbows, head blows – the whole 9 yards. He stopped hitting me when he knew I wasn’t going to stop until he did. Never back down. I guess that strengthened our relationship – he stopped bullying me.

            (Required, will not be published)