A group of sisters shared their photos out at a beach house in Kalangala. They also shared the clip of a long and leisurely trip through the game park before spending the evening at a camp fire, while laughing and chatting into the night.
Over the decades, this group of six or seven senior citizen sisters have built such a strong and enviable bond. They share a mother, and they are so close you would not believe they have different fathers.
On the other hand, there are many families where children share both mother and father, but cannot be found sitting together, sharing a meal, let alone having a decent conversation or sharing a hearty laugh.
Sibling rivalry is real. Children born and raised in the same home can and will conflict with one another.
What is the role of a parent when children have conflicts with one another? Some parents rarely get involved, perhaps because they are absent to notice or because they are too busy and in some cases they are outrightly uninterested.
Recently, a more senior parent enlightened me on this issue. She emphasised that as children grow and become older, it is important for the parents to play the role of mediator because disagreements and fights happen and can escalate.
She said when one child hurts another and you get to know it, as the parent, you should not ignore the situation hoping that it shall resolve itself because what is pushed under the carpet has a way of resurfacing.
She strongly advised that parents ought to call the two parties and have a candid conversation around the matter so that it is dealt with from the root. Unresolved matters cause friction and tension among siblings and whereas dysfunction is a norm in many families from time immemorial, the pain and frustration from this dysfunctionality can be amicably resolved if the parent is keen.
Parents hold a vital place of authority in their children’s lives. You have power and responsibility to guide and influence children in the right direction. Teach children to co-exist, forgive, love and support one another. As parents, we do not have the luxury of taking these sensitive matters lightly. We are charged with the responsibility of helping them resolve the conflicts they have with one another.
I figured that it helps to be present. It is in paying attention to the small details with the same fervency that we do the big things that we resolve matters. It also helps for parents to remain impartial.