YouVersion Responds to Parent Questions: What Can I Do About Sibling Rivalry?

Children playing together

Recently we asked the YouVersion Community to share your parenting questions with us. (Thank you for your responses!) Today we’re sharing Scripture around a topic many of you asked about: Sibling Rivalry.

Got any tips for how I can reduce sibling rivalry? How should I handle sibling rivalry between teens? How do I raise my girls to be kind to one another, so when they're older they'll be close friends?

Imagine your family as a team that God assembled to reflect His glory. He carefully crafted each family member to help the whole family fulfill its shared potential. Your role as parent is to serve as coach. You lead toward a vision that you can all accomplish together, teach everyone how to play, and work with each child to help them contribute meaningfully. Here’s how:

  1. Celebrate each member of your family for their unique value.
  2. …a person’s body has more than one part. The ear might say, “I am not an eye, so I don’t belong to the body.” But saying this would not make the ear stop being a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, it would not be able to hear. If the whole body were an ear, it would not be able to smell anything.

    1 CORINTHIANS 12:14,16-17

    Just as in the body of Christ, each member of your family has a special role to fulfill. Help each of your children explore and discover their gifts. Help them learn to enjoy using their gifts in ways that serve the whole family. Along the way, encourage them with gratitude every time they show behaviors you want them to repeat. By equipping each child with self-awareness, service, and praise, you’re actually training them to cheer on every other member of your family.

    More on Connecting with Your Children Individually

  1. Unite your family around a common vision.
  2. Where there is no message from God, people don’t control themselves. But blessed is the one who obeys wisdom’s instruction.

    PROVERBS 29:18

    Talk together as a family about what you want your team to be known for. Start broadly, then gradually focus in on narrower themes, such Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, etc. In the Bible App, tap the Search tab, and explore under “What does the Bible say about…” (Or just type the trait you want into the Search box.) Once everyone agrees on a core family value, together pick a “Family Verse” that captures it.

    More ideas for Family Verses

  1. Never stop talking about what your family is about.
  2. Get my commandments inside you and your children. Talk about them wherever you are: at home or in the street; talk about them from the time you get up until you fall into bed.

    DEUTERONOMY 6:6-7

    Unless you make it tangible, your family vision will fade. Use family pictures to make Verse Images of your Family Verse, then put them everywhere. Save them as backgrounds on everyone’s devices. Help your kids make their own custom versions. Print a few of your favorites, get them framed, and hang them in prominent places around your home. Most of all, reward your kids every time you “catch” them living out your family values. Over time, your family’s vision will become ingrained in your family’s dynamic.

    How to make Verse Image

  1. Adopt Grace and Forgiveness as honorary members of your family.
  2. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

    EPHESIANS 4:2-3

    Especially as you begin this journey, set some short-term goals that will help your family score some quick wins. Just don’t lose sight of what you truly want: to build a lasting legacy together over time, a sustainable mindset of family unity that will span generations.

You will make mistakes. Your kids will make mistakes. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t give up on each other. God’s mercies are new every morning. Keep trying, and keep showing love to each other.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

1 PETER 4:8

FacebookShare on Facebook

TwitterShare on Twitter

EmailShare via Email

Tips + Tools for Your Family

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. - Proverbs 22:6 - Verse Image

Pieces to add to your parenting puzzle…

Watching your children make wise, thoughtful decisions is a rewarding part of parenting. But rewarding days can sometimes feel overshadowed by the hard ones.

Parenting is a difficult puzzle, but you don’t need to solve it alone. Below are some parent resources created to help you have important conversations and meaningful moments as a family.

Click on each resource to learn more!

Bible Plans for Parents

Bible App for Kids

Adventure Books

Bible Adventure Videos

Coloring Sheets for Kids

Family Discussion Questions


Plus…

The Kids Bible Experience inside your YouVersion Bible App offers engaging, practical insight into how your preeteen can apply God’s Word. And as they’re enjoying fresh, relevant content each day, this new experience will help them discover their own daily rhythm of seeking God.

Kids Daily Bible Experience - Video

Fun, fresh perspectives.

They’ll hear relevant insights from voices they relate to, reflection questions, daily verses, and more.

Get the Update

 


Bible Storybook from The Bible App for Kids

One Final Resource…

Looking for the perfect gift for a child in your life?

The Bible Storybook is a hardcover book featuring 28 stories from the Bible App for Kids along with discussion questions. It’s perfect to read as a family at bedtime, during long road trips, or when you want your kids to take a screen break.

Get the Storybook

Now Your Children Can Experience the Bible App for Kids in Khmer!

Bible App for Kids

Today, together with our partner OneHope, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Bible App for Kids in Khmer. Now, more children than ever have the opportunity to enjoy a Bible experience all their own.

Switching between languages is easy, right in the app’s Settings:

  1. Make sure you’ve updated your app to the most current release.
  2. Open the app and tap the gear icon () to open Settings.
  3. Tap Language and select the one you want.

The audio will now play in that language, and any text will appear in that language, too!

Please help us celebrate this great news!

FacebookShare on Facebook

TwitterShare on Twitter

EmailShare via Email


Bible App for Kids Jesus

About the Bible App for Kids

Developed in partnership with OneHope, the Bible App for Kids is from YouVersion, makers of the Bible App. Designed to give children a delight-filled Bible experience all their own, the Bible App for Kids has already been installed on over 41 million Apple, Android, and Kindle devices, and it’s always completely free. Kids from all over the world are now enjoying the Bible App for Kids, in 55 languages — now including Khmer!

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play Available at Amazon

How to Make Physical Distancing Work for Your Family

When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy - Jamess 1:2 - Verse Image

Physical distancing has presented parents with challenges that most of us have never faced before. Even if you already considered your family to be your primary ministry, adjusting to working at home can blur the line between family life and work life.

Many of us at YouVersion are parents, so just like you, we’ve been looking for strategies that will work for our families. Below are just a few approaches we’ve found so far. While we realize every family has unique circumstances, we hope you’ll find something here that’s helpful.

Communicate, collaborate, and coordinate.

When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy - Jamess 1:2 - Verse Image

If both parents are trying to work from home, remember that you’re on the same team together. Try to set up a schedule that suits everyone. Some of us are taking shifts, where one parent works from 8:30am to 12:00pm, while the other cares for the kids, then switching from 12:30pm to 5:00pm. Make a plan, but leave room to be flexible.

…Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults…

EPHESIANS 4:2

Include your kids.

When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy - Jamess 1:2 - Verse Image

Ask your children to “help” in ways that make sense for their ages. You might help them make a “Time to Work” sign for you, then explain that when you hang it on the door, that means you need to concentrate. Help them make special artwork for your workspace—especially if you’ll be in video meetings. Your kids are more likely to respect boundaries between work time and family time if they feel invested in both.

Imprint these words of mine on your hearts and minds… Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

DEUTERONOMY 11:18-19

Set realistic expectations.

“Productivity” looks different right now than it did three months ago. And, most of the people you work with are likely dealing with issues very similar to yours. Be a living example of the things you hope to receive from others. Give grace to your coworkers, to your children, and to yourself.

The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Galatians 5:22-23

When troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy - Jamess 1:2 - Verse Image

As much as you can, enjoy this time you have together. It may be hard to remember right now, but just a few months ago, many of us were trying to find ways to spend more time with our kids. It’s true that our current circumstances come with real challenges. But, it’s also true that we have the power to choose how we respond. We can see them as setbacks that are causing us pain, or as opportunities to draw our families closer than ever.

FacebookShare on Facebook

TwitterShare on Twitter

EmailShare via Email

3 Ways to Help Your Kids Adjust to the New “Normal”

Mother and daughter using a tablet

Parents, don’t be hard on your children. Raise them properly. Teach them and instruct them about the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4

Mother and daughter laughing while using a tablet

If you’re like many parents we know, day by day, you’re trying to handle meals, figure out school, and manage your kids’ boredom—all while worrying about your job and your future. We want you to know: We’re here for you.

Regardless of your children’s ages, it’s likely they have a lot of questions about everything happening. Almost overnight, all the daily routines that they relied on for stability changed. One of the best things we can do for them right now is to establish a new “normal.”

Here are 3 things you can try at different times throughout the day to help your kids adjust:

  1. Ask your kids what they’re thinking about. Then listen.

Even if they say difficult or troubling things, try not to show alarm on your face. Your kids need a safe space to talk, and the opportunity to fully express their thoughts and feelings in their own words.

  1. Be the example you want to see in your house.

Take care of yourself spiritually during this time, so that you’ll be able to give your kids the emotional support they need. Here’s where you can find some peace and encouragement for you:

Resources

  1. Pray with your kids, on a schedule.

Praying is just having a conversation with God, telling Him what you’re thinking and feeling, asking for things you need, and thanking Him (even for small victories). You can pray anytime, but doing it together in the morning, at mealtimes, and at bedtimes is an easy way to build some routine into each day. Here’s a simple example:

Dear Jesus, thank You for our family. Help us to love each other, take care of each other, and be kind. Please show us how we can love our neighbors and our friends. Thank You. Amen.


Bonus! Clearly define your days.

If your kids have been used to a weekly schedule—with you at work and them at school or daycare—the days may start blurring together when everyone’s home. Giving each day of the week its own theme can help you build a rhythm, a sense of structure. Here are a few examples:

  • Taco Tuesday – Don’t have taco ingredients? Make sandwiches, taco style, folded in half.

  • Wacky Wednesday – Wear socks that don’t match. Type “recipe” into Google, with a list of whatever random ingredients you have, and make that together.

  • Funny Friday – Play together. Be silly. Make jokes. Watch a funny movie or TV show. Make Friday night Family Game Night.

  • Special Sunday – Worship God together. Find a church service online. (Many churches are putting their children’s programming online right now.) Watch a video on BibleAppForKids.com together and talk about it.

FacebookShare on Facebook

TwitterShare on Twitter

EmailShare via Email