In case you stopped keeping track, it’s day 45 of the metro-wide quarantine. At this point, you’re probably getting a little weary due to the fact that the only other humans you’ve been interacting with are the members of your family. Unlike before when we'd only get to spend time at home after long school hours or on weekends, the quarantine means we're now stuck inside our house all day, every day.
If you’re not an only child, chances are, you and your siblings may have engaged in quite a handful of bickering. While it’s normal for siblings to fight (because at the end of the day, you know that you still love each other to bits), the negative emotions that arise from them don’t help with the already stressful situation we’re all going through. Unfortunately, you can’t just sever your relations the way you ‘unfriend’ other people.
While a little bickering could be beneficial, it’s not always the best feeling to be arguing with someone when you’ve got nowhere else to escape to. In case you find yourself fighting with your sibs a lot more during quarantine, here are three things that might help:
As kids, you may have shared rooms or wore each other’s clothes (which you might still be doing now), but now that you’re a little bit grown up, putting up boundaries is something that might serve you and your sibs for the better. And nope, hindi lang pag-iinarte ang boundaries.
Staying under one roof might prove to be a challenge when it comes to setting up boundaries. But it’s worth discussing which lines your siblings cannot cross. It could be physical, like finding your own spot in the house where you can work on homework or personal hobbies on your own, or emotional, like not letting your siblings’ thoughts and emotions inform your own.
Respect their boundaries, too.
You may have enforced your own boundaries, but your siblings may also have a completely different set of boundaries you may not initially understand or identify with. In a post by Sara Kuburic, MA, CCC, she explains that, “we don’t need to agree with someone’s boundary in order to respect it,” as long as it’s something doable for both of you. Respecting boundaries also isn't just about age. You may be the ate or the kuya, but that doesn't exempt you from honoring your siblings' restrictions.
Let it subside on its own.
Mini fights among siblings could get intense AF, and sometimes, it’s all rooted in very simple misunderstandings. During times like this, not doing anything about it may be the best course of action to take. Licensed counselor Suzanne Degges-White, PhD suggests that, when all else fails, not engaging any further might be the best way to put a conclusion to your misunderstanding.
Instead of engaging in a heated debate with your sibling about why they're annoying the world out of you, exercising just a tad bit of patience might be the answer to more peaceful days at home. Who knows, by dinner time, you might find each other discussing the latest K-drama episode you just watched like nothing happened.
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