Do You Want Me to Pull Over this Car?

Nothing is worse than being in the car when your kids start nit-picking at each other. The encounter soon erupts like a volcano with words spewing at an ever-increasing volume. Add the word mom to the mix and it can leave any mom frazzled and ready to pull over and ditch the car along the road.

There’s something about the small space of the car and the inability to judge volume in a youngster that can set a cool and collected parent off the Richter scale.

I don’t know about your family, but it’s more often than not, my kids are clawing at each other and heaving unloving words towards one another. I understand sibling rivalry is normal, but doesn’t it break a little corner off our hearts when we observe that our kids can’t get along with their siblings?

Bonds for Life

As a parent, how do we encourage our children’s relationships with each other?

What do we do and not do that will ensure they remain bonded for life?

Have you ever read about the Dassler brothers? They were two brothers who were partners in a shoe company. Adi was the designer and maker of the shoes, while Rudi was the salesman.

Through a series of conflicts, the men decided to separate the company. Adi’s company became Adidas and Rudi’s company Puma. The rift between the two of them lasted over 60 years. They died within four years of each other, and were buried at opposite ends of the cemetery.

Am I the only who thinks this is heart-breaking?

When we look to the Bible, we see Cain and Abel. They had a strained relationship which ended in death for Abel.

Or the story of Joseph and his brothers, they threw their brother into a pit and then sold him into slavery. The Bible says they hated him and planned how they would get rid of him.

Abraham’s sons, Isaac and Ishmael, became nations which are still feuding today. Ishmael is said to be the father of the Arab nations and Isaac the father of Israel.

What Not to Do As a Parent

  1. Show favorites.
  2. Compare your children.
  3. Label them.
  4. Give more attention to one, but not the other.
  5. Tolerate aggression, then relationships suffer
  6. Buy them a colorful coat of many colors (some humor here).

Do You Want Me to Pull Over this Car. As a parent how do we encourage relationships among our children? Growing up sibling rivalry happens but how do we teach love, character and getting along so they develop meaningful bonds. What if there are problems? Goals, tips, techniques and Scripture to help you reach your goal

Sibling Friendships

According to Psychology Today, when siblings get along they enjoy higher life satisfaction and have lower rates of depression. Siblings bring the best emotional and psychological support during life  crises. 1

After all, siblings have a shared history and the relationship is life-long. Even if you don’t get along with your sibling, they still share a spot in your heart. Therefore, we can definitely love our sibling, without liking them.

Satan is all too happy to cause divisions in our families. If he can divide siblings, the wedge can further expand into the rest of the family. As a result,  he’s conquered us when the family is estranged and broken off from each other.

Finding the Answer in God’s Word

Best Practices for Encouraging Sibling Relationships

  1. Pray for your children’s relationship.
  2. Model Christian relationships with your own siblings.
  3. Show respect for others.
  4. Teach empathy.
  5. Trust and let go to God.
  6. Invest time in each of your children.
  7. Remind them that they are each made in the image of God, differences make the family complete.
  8. Teach conflict resolution and forgiveness.
  9. Foster individual interests.
  10. Direct your children to pray for each other.

Do You Want Me to Pull Over this Car. As a parent how do we encourage relationships among our children? Growing up sibling rivalry happens but how do we teach love, character and getting along so they develop meaningful bonds. What if there are problems? Goals, tips, techniques and Scripture to help you reach your goal

We need to sow these seeds within our kids and then leave it to God to watch the seeds take off and grow.

Only God can solidify our children’s relationship and keep them loving.

14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:14, NLT).

Instilling the importance of a relationship with our Savior can give our kids the ability to be… Click To Tweet

As we use these tips and techniques out in our families, I hope that carload of your most precious treasures can reach a destination filled with love and harmony (or at least see a decrease in the volcanoes erupting). No more threats of pulling the car the over.


“To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” – Clara Ortega

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22 thoughts on “Do You Want Me to Pull Over this Car?

  1. I said this very thing just last night. On. The. Way. To. CHURCH. Seriously! And then I had a little chuckle at how Satan was trying to mess with my Ash Wednesday service! Great advice! I really need to pray more for my children! Thanks for that encouragment! Blessings!

  2. Julie, This is such good wisdom for raising kids. I loved your quote from Clara Ortega, too. It so reminds me of the kind of relationship I’ve watched develop between my own two. Colossians 3:14 is such a good verse to pray over our children. I’m on the end of the parenting journey (at least on the “when they are living at home” part of that journey) and this article just so encouraged me because it took me back and helped me reflect and reminded me that out of all those days we didn’t do our best getting along there came such strong family bonds. The enemy would whisper to me that I was failing as a mother, but God knew different. Those hard days were opportunities, not failures – opportunities to develop perseverance and character. I really needed to read this today. It was such an encouragement because the things you point out here do truly work and that should give any Mom still in the trenches of raising young children much hope. Thank you for sharing this today!!!

  3. Perfect list, Julie. Every single one. — The bickering can be hard, but man, my children will not let anyone else mess with their brothers. They can mess with each other all they like, but let someone else try and they become very defensive for their brothers. It’s fun to watch their relationships grow now that they’re grown. 🙂 — Thanks for sharing with #ChasingCommunity today, Julie. Love your writing voice. ((hug))

  4. Oh, dear … how I remember those days … our older teens still have times of disagreement … but usually not in the car like when they were younger. (Instead … it gets loud because teenagers have no sense of volume in a car, either!) Such great tips for encouraging and strengthening the bond between siblings. Blessings to you today, Julie! visiting from G&T

  5. LOL… oh that brings back memories… actually, my dad’s favorite threat was to quietly say over all our arguing in the back, “I will adopt you both out….”
    Suddenly we were best friends again. LOL
    Those ten tips are going to save some mamas their sanity this week, Julie! Love it!

  6. Your post reminds me of that joke (was it from Tim Hawkins?)…
    Kid: “He started it!”
    Parent: “WELL, I’LL FINISH IT!”
    Lol Seriously, though, great post and list! 🙂

  7. Amen sista! I am sure every parent has used this phrase or something like it. Yes, it breaks my heart when siblings fight, but the beauty is now I have two adult children and one teenager, they talk a couple times a week and constantly communicate through social media. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, blessings!

    1. Kelsey- I’m so glad your kids have good relationships with each other. I can only pray mine will someday, as I extinguish another sibling fight:)

  8. I so want my two daughters to have a life-long friendship. So far, so good. 🙂 They are 22 and 27, and I expect the older they get, the more the age difference will fade away. I have two sisters and one brother and I love them all dearly! Thanks for sharing the importance of valuing the sibling relationships, Julie.

  9. Oh goodness, yes, the car ride fights! You may not believe me, but one day when they are all driving themselves and you have an empty vehicle, you’ll actually miss the “sibling moments”!! Funny how the older they get, the better they get along with each other. I guess they become their own person but still have the shared memories. It’s pretty special. Love your practical tips, Julie, especially the praying for one another…. this is a super post! Stopping by from #MomentsofHope

  10. Funny how just about every parent has said something like that, LOL! Mine are 32, 29, and 23 now, and they do grow out of the petty bickering, thankfully. Yet we’ve had some family situations, not with our kids so far but with extended family, in which some of the patterns and personality conflicts in youth carried through to adulthood. It’s so important to teach forgiveness and conflict resolution and loving each other despite differences in their youth. Thanks for sharing and for visiting me today!

  11. We made it a point from the time our girls could talk to equip them to handle conflict with each other. When they tattled, we would say, “So, what are you going to do about it?” We could give them choices: You can hit back. You can go play in your room alone. You can talk to her and say, “I don’t like it when you grab my doll. Please don’t do that.” Then we would talk about which action on their part would solve the problem the best. Our daughters are each others’ best friends now (they are 23 & 24). I love watching them cheer each other on through life’s trials and cry together during adversity.

  12. Julie,
    Not only have I said those words, i have literally pulled the car over. They knew I was done when I did that.
    But still… I have had a discussion much like this with my two oldest and the importance of being there for one another no matter what. My brother and I are 3 years apart, I am the oldest. My mom asked that question too.We fought like crazy when we were kids but something changed when we became teens. We found a connection and it has never wavered. Next to my husband he is my very best friend and the one person in the world who I can have a conversation without words. He is married, now, and a daddy. Yet, he is still one of my most favorite of people and I am so grateful my mom asked me that question in the car and reminded us we need to value one another.


    1. Dawn- your story is wonderful! I only hope my kids are close through life. Sadly I’m not close to my sister.
      Thank you for stopping friend!

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