Additional Scripture Readings: Psalm 141:3–4; Proverbs 30:33
F-I-G-H-T! That’s the battle cry of kids in so many families today. Before we reach the car door, brother and sister are close to blows over who gets to sit in the front. “He pinched me!” “She pulled my hair!” And so it goes.
Siblings have often been rivals. Even back in Bible times. Think about Cain and Abel and Joseph and his eleven brothers. As in these very serious situations, some sibling squabbles can have disastrous results.
Is there a way to mitigate the negative aspects of sibling fights? When carefully monitored by parents, can they actually foster growth? Experts list three benefits to in-house fighting:
1. Interpersonal empathy. Fights offer children the opportunity to learn sensitivity to the feelings of others.
2. Emotional processing. Fights give children a chance to express and process emotions.
3. Resolution skills. Fights give children experience in establishing nonviolent solutions like compromise and cooperation.
While God can and does bring good out of even the worst of situations, we can help our children grow well by teaching them how to “fight” well.