Give it to me” “He hit me! “I hate him” Parents say they hear it all the time. They also say their first reaction is to yell, “Stop it” Sound familiar?

You may have seen my tweets and FB posts this week about siblings, if not take a look at Twitter: Sharon_Silver or on Facebook: ProactiveParentingTips. Here are the full tips. Come back each day for the rest of the week to get the other tips.

There is another reason why siblings argue and fight. Their fights can be and should be teaching moments, if you allow them to be. However, in order to fully teach them what they’ll need to know, you must be a facilitator. What do I mean by that?

1. Change your Job Description

Most parents see their job as being both judge and jury. However, kids learn best by resolving issues for themselves, with your help. Shift your thinking. You know how to resolve conflicts, the kids don’t. This life skill needs to be taught to them and the best time is now.

If you remain the judge and jury, deciding who is right, and who is wrong, and what should be done about it, one child remains angry and feels rejected. And one child feels like he or she has won the prize and is the favored one.

I’m paraphrasing from an old TV show called Sisters when I say: “Your [partners] may leave you, children grow up, parents pass away. The only ones who are there for you from cradle to grave are your [siblings].” Preserving the sibling long-term relationship is why I believe it’s crucial to teach these skills, now.