Family Resiliency Center | Illinois


Mealtime Minutes: Sibling Conflict

While it is expected that siblings have some sort of disagreement up to 4 times an hour, families frequently identified this as a real barrier to family mealtimes.  The solutions for Sibling Conflict flows from the research work of Dr. Laurie Kramer’s More Fun with Sisters and Brothers program.  This empirically supported program has identified a number of effective methods for encouraging positive interactions in sibling relationships among young children.  It focuses on proactive behavior for children and parents.

What to expect from 4 to 8 year old sibling children:

  • Learn how to solve disagreements between themselves by practicing “Stop, Think, and Talk”
  • Parents can act as coaches through disagreements as children talk through their disagreements
  • Not all child-driven solutions will result in success so don’t give up

How to prevent sibling conflict at the Table

  • 20 minutes before the meal - Check in to see that everyone is engaged in some positive play activities and knows dinner will start in about 20 minutes so they can wrap up their activity
  • 10 minutes before the meal - Assign everyone a job and express how important every job is for the whole family meal
  • During the meal – Teach children how to Stop, Think, and Talk when they get into disagreements.  Act as a coach for sibling conflict so children learn how to be good problem solvers
  • Every night - Spend ten minutes every evening with each child doing something special for that particular child- reading a book, telling stories, playing a game

Sibling Conflict Mealtime Minutes Video PSA

Click here for link to Sibling Conflict Mealtime Minutes Video PSA

Video also available on Facebook, Vimeo, and the Pampered Chef website

Conversation Cards & Tip Cards

Click here for link to Conversation Cards & Tip Cards

Mealtime Minutes

Mealtime Minutes is an initiative that provides real solutions to common family mealtime challenges. The information and tools will help families develop effective strategies to address these challenges and create quality shared time together. The Mealtime Minutes Initiative is funded by The Pampered Chef®.   

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Parents and families will learn strategies to better manage sibling conflict during shared family mealtimes.


Mealtime Minutes Video on Vimeo
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