What are the best ways of settling family disputes amongst brothers/sisters?


I will speak from my personal experience. That of having 7 siblings and having my parents solve disputes once and for all (so effectively that my siblings and I never had major arguments until our father died, and even today we keep sorting out differences without actually engaging in any kind of argument), and the experience of having two daughters who have grown together 5 years apart and once in a while have ugly fights (when I am not near).

The golden rule was: siblings do not fight. They love each other no matter what.

Arguments were stop at the very beginning. Messages were constantly hammered into our heads reinforcing the idea that family had to be fed with love and harmony. It was normal to have differences and to feel victim of some injustice at a given time, but complaints have to follow a certain procedure. Either mom or dad had to hear the complaint before any sibling dared to do anything about it. Both parties’ stories were heard, parents would agree on a decision and that decision had to be respected.

No retaliation was accepted and punishment was immediate if rules were disobeyed. Sometimes it was physical punishment; sometimes it was a time out with restrictions of the things we liked the most.

The most important thing in dealing with siblings’ disputes is to be equanimous and impartial. My parents never show preference for any of their 8 children. They made them all feel loved and wanted, so that when a decision did not favor them, they would not feel betrayed or treated unfairly. If children understand the importance of those values and the importance of family solidarity and mutual support, they will understand that they must stand for one another and that any poorly handled dispute will only weaken their family links.

I have tried to inculcate my children the same principles. My two daughters, who do not live with me since our divorce 8 years ago, do not dare to have any kind of argument in my presence. I know because for the little one’s complaints that they have ugly arguments and sometimes they take justice in their own hands. Even though I cannot control those incidents, as long as they are with me I repeat my parents’ lectures and keep reminding them of the importance of mutual respect, love and solidarity. Any disputes, if properly channeled, discussed and handled may become learning moments.  



Talking. Talk to each other. We know that in any family there are differences, but what we cannot allow is that these differences open up abysses between the members of the family. That is why my recommendation is to talk, to talk about the problem, to hear what the other has to say, to put down the weapons, to go as friends. First of all: try to reach agreements. 

When we have problems and argue with people we can fall into the error of offending, of saying things that we may regret having said. In that case, we should ask for forgiveness, try to apologize if we offended or assaulted with our behavior. Never asking for forgiveness will make you greater as in the moment when you recognize that you have done wrong and that you need the forgiveness of the other. Don't be afraid of the other person's answer, in this case your brother, he has every right to be angry or not to forgive you. In that case, don't give up, don't let it be on your side, don't make the attempt to do the passes.

The solution, even if it seems unusual, is not to stop talking or avoid because there may come a time when the differences and distances are abysmal. Then, if you are afraid to meet your brother, you can send him a message asking him to speak perhaps in a café where they find themselves in the need to keep their tone and form at bay when speaking. 

If, on the other hand, you feel that your brother is the one who has committed the fault and you do not see why you must bridge to get to him or maintain the relationship, I invite you to remember the number of times they fought as children, the times they became friends again, and especially remember that we are not talking about anyone, but your brother, and deep down you know you love. 


The best way to resolve disputes between brothers / sisters is to invite parents as mediators for their problems.

Parents are fully responsible for what happens to their children. So, they are the most appropriate people to discuss, solve existing problems.


Mediation is the best way but has to be done by someone trusted and wise. 

However, i don't see why brothers and sisters should have a dispute. I have a brother and have never had a dispute with him, not since we are adults. We always talk things through, always understand and support each other. I know I can trust him with my life and he feels the same. 

Family members, especially brothers and sisters should get along and help each other no matter what. Friends and  acquaintances come and go in your life, they can be with you on a short term but family members are forever, especially brothers and sisters. 

If there's a way, work it out, no matter what!


Settling family disputes is not at all easy, and communication is not the first thing that should be done. First, everyone should cool down. That way, hurtful words would not be expressed during the peak of their emotions. Humility is also important to initiate communication. As you made an appointment to talk about the issues, both parties should be more of listeners then throwing off the faults. Be humble to admit mistakes so it will soften the hardened heart.

Retaliation should also be avoided because they will makes thing worst. To those who are not involved, be equal to everyone. Do not take sides. Use proper judgments.