The best books for siblings who squabble

The Books I Picked & Why

Siblings: You're Stuck with Each Other, So Stick Together

By James J. Crist, Elizabeth Verdick

Siblings: You're Stuck with Each Other, So Stick Together

Why this book?

This was one of the first books targeting not preschoolers adjusting to a new baby but older kids struggling to get along. It is perfectly pitched to middle-grade readers, with just the right balance of direct talk and humor. The book normalizes sibling conflict while providing solutions 8-13-year-olds can implement on their own or with the help of a parent. Written in 2010, this book stands the test of time.


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My Sibling

By Isabelle Filliozat, Éric Veillé

My Sibling

Why this book?

My Sibling is an activity book with drawing prompts, stickers, crafts, and activities just right for 6-10-year-olds. Touching on jealousy, fairness, sharing, and more, the book gently guides children to try new ways of thinking and behaving towards their siblings. An extensive section for parents and caregivers more fully explains what parents can do to help their children get along.


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Oh, Brother... Oh, Sister!: A Sister's Guide to Getting Along

By Brooks Whitney, Laura Cornell

Oh, Brother... Oh, Sister!: A Sister's Guide to Getting Along

Why this book?

Pitched to 9-11-year-old girls, Oh Brother…Oh Sister! is a practical guide kids can read on their own or together with a younger sibling (of either gender). There are activities for siblings to do with one another, and plenty of humor to keep kids laughing as they absorb important lessons about getting along. A surprising number of children are motivated to sign the Sibling Constitution at the back of the book, and to honor the agreements they’ve made. The only downside is that the book is clearly written for girls. It’s a pity, boys could use a book like this, too.


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Autism in My Family: A Journal for Siblings of Children with ASD

By Sandra Tucker

Autism in My Family: A Journal for Siblings of Children with ASD

Why this book?

This book beautifully explores the challenge of living with an autistic sibling. Eight – 12-year-olds are invited to draw/write about their feelings and experiences on their own and/or with a parent or their special-needs sibling. The basics of autism are explained to help children understand why their sibling acts the way they do, increasing empathy, reducing frustration, and decreasing conflict. This is a gentle, normalizing, and ultimately empowering book geared to families living with autism but potentially useful to children with special-needs siblings of all stripes.


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Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

By Dr. Laura Markham

Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

Why this book?

This one is for parents, not kids, but I included it because what parents do (or don’t do), say (or don’t say) is such an important part of the equation when it comes to sibling rivalry. Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings teaches the basics of Emotion Coaching (introduced in Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids by the same author), then walks readers through using this approach with multiple children. Grounded in brain science, pairing firm limits with genuine empathy, parents who take the time to learn/practice this way of parenting will undoubtedly see a significant reduction in sibling squabbles, and in conflict more broadly.


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