Sibling Conflict Resolution Tip

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sibling conflict resolution tip

The post today is about a sibling conflict tip my friend Laurie shared with me. A truly brilliant idea, which makes for immediate blog material.

Does this sound familiar?

You come up with a fun idea to go out to dinner with the family and start talking about where you will go. One child yells, “Ruby’s!!” Their sibling yells (louder), “Wahoo’s!!

And then what was supposed to be a pleasant outing idea has turned into the battle of wills, which each child standing firm in their stance. UGH!!!

A standoff (and headache) ensues and you think, “Why on earth did I start this?’ I should have just boiled some spaghetti and called it a day.

But the dinner idea is out there, and there is no turning back, because really, you don’t want to make dinner, so the conversation and negotiations start.

You might have one child that is likely to throw the bigger fit, so you try to talk the other into going along with their idea so you can just get out the door for pete’s sake. ┬áThere might be a bribe involved. Anything might happen at this point.

Or maybe you say, “Enough! I am choosing!” and then they get really pissed off and the fun family dinner turns into a nightmare before you walk out the door. Good times.

But here is a sibling conflict tip that is going to help you.

If you have two children, you have an odd child and an even child.

My firstborn, Emma, was born first. She is a 1, or my odd girl.

Morgan was born second, she is a 2, my even girl.

So, in those situations now, where it is truly just a matter of one opinion or choice vs. the other, you can say, “What day is it?┬áThe 12th? Oh, it’s an even day, that means Morgan gets to chose this time.”

The calendar is calling the shots. Blame it on the day kiddos. You are not choosing sides, the calendar is.

I implemented it the next morning, which was the 9th. My kids thought it was a super cool plan. Until my oldest misunderstood and thought since it was an odd day, she would get her way all day. We are working on that one.

Now, there must be a way to figure this out with more than two kids, but I didn’t have the brainpower to come up with an idea. If anyone else does, please comment and share!

beautiful photo by the lovely


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  1. 1
    Melissa says:

    Great idea! I can see my older ones response being “it’s ALWAYS an even day!” How do you respond to this? Sometimes it just might happen that we go out more on even days?

  2. 2
    Lisa says:

    I implemented it right away too Jen. In fact, last night when the girls refused to stay in bed, I warned them like 3 times and finally went in and said, it’s an odd day, Sarah, where do you want to sleep? In her room of course, so Stevie quietly grabbed her pillow and headed to the spare room. WITHOUT crying. It was amazing. And Stevie is acutely aware that today is an even day…..

  3. 3
    Jen says:

    Lisa, that is great news. Great news!

    Melissa, your oldest sounds a LOT like mine! I have to think after implementing this and using it regularly, it would likely end up working out that the favor falls both ways?

    I don’t know! I haven’t used it enough – but I will and will report back. You do the same!

  4. 4
    christy says:


  5. 5
    SaraC says:

    I just had a little inspiration from this post! I have two boys, so I’m often thinking in sports terms. What about a possession arrow, like in basketball? When there’s a jump ball the team with the arrow gets the ball. Then, the arrow is switched to the other team so that, next time, they get the ball.

    Translate that to kids and turns, it could ward off the worry of always hitting and even or odd day!

  6. 6
    Jen says:

    SaraC – brilliant!!!!!

  7. 7
    Bar says:

    this post made me laugh….and feel relieved that other families go through the same thing we do. and how about when you get to the restaurant, who is going to sit where? i have THREE kids, so need to figure this out for more than two. will let you know what i come up with, but this has my wheels spinning. thank you!! xo bar

    • 8
      jen says:

      Bar – Oh my gosh, I FEEL you!!! Both my girls will argue about who sits where every single time at restaurants. Drives me CRAZY. Thank God for the odd and even days with situations like that!

  8. 9
    Jenny says:

    There is a woman named Barbara Coloroso who is AMAZING and has a ton of cibling conflict resolution techniques and I can honestly say that they do work!!! I have used them with great success. Google her!!

    • 10
      Jenny says:

      Not sure why my auto correct changed the spelling of siblings? So frustrating typing on a phone!!

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