It is hard for parents to see their kids fight. The constant bickering, teasing, arguing and sometimes hitting weigh heavy on our hearts. Sibling conflict however is inevitable. And for the wise Muslim parent, it is an opportunity. As our children move on in life, they will meet different people, and sibling conflict is a child’s first class in relationship training. Think of your home as a classroom, yourself as the teacher, and your values as the curriculum. Allah (swt) has placed each and every one of us in our particular families for a reason. If your child has certain tendencies, such as anger and intolerance, maybe it is so that we are meant to learn and teach self-control and sensitivity to each other for the challenges that are to come later in life. Remember the story of Yusuf (as) and how his conflict with his siblings propelled him to the positions of honour he was granted in this world and the next, and because of the conflict between his children and his patience during his trial, the status that Yaqoob (as) will, Insha’Allah, be granted.
Keeping this vision in mind, plan different activities with your children to overcome the particular set of challenges in your household. Here are some ideas that you can use to help your children get along better and learn values of tolerance, sensitivity, anger control, patience and cooperation along the way.
Playing Cooperative Blocks/Jenga
Cooperative play is a great way to cement relationships between kids. Ask your children to draw a picture of a large tower or city and then tell them to build it with a bin of blocks. Sit back and watch as they plan and execute their ideas. They will have to use cooperation and problem-solving skills along the way. Alternatively, play a game of Jenga with the aim to take the tower as high as possible and helping each other to choose the right blocks to pull, rather than waiting for the other to make the tower fall. Count how high they went before the tower falls, and try to go higher the next time.
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