Five Ways To Combat Sibling Rivalry
You might have seen, you might have experienced it but there’s a way to stop your kids from going through it
4 December 2020
Sibling rivalry is no fun for any parent, having to deal with it in a household can get tense but there are ways around it.
Sibling rivalry stems out of jealousy, competition and fighting between brothers and sisters in a family – for parents of two or more kids, you know what we’re talking about.
Arguing, screaming and at times hitting – sibling fights can get very intense at home and outside.
No one wants negative energies in the house, nor problems between family members – this can sometimes be carried throughout their childhood and can get very frustrating and stressful to parents.
When parents have a second or third child, the first child of the family can get jealous at the shift of attention onto the newborn.
Especially when the children are old enough to understand this and might start to compare their lives – then is when sibling rivalry is at its peak.
Siblings can often compare the amount of attention they are receiving, the number of toys they each have, the amount of affection they are each receiving from their peers and lots more – emotional and physical comparisons are not uncommon between brothers and sisters.
It is often influenced by the following factors:
- Parental treatment
- Birth order
- Outside experiences
And while this may disappear as the kids grow up, the clash between siblings can make parents very frustrated and stressed.
Here are 5 things that you can do to reduce sibling rivalry in your household:
1. Take it away from them
If your children are fighting over something physical, then the best thing to do it to take it away from both of them.
Letting one child keep something that was taken from the other child will only create more tension between the two – so it’s best to remove the root of the problem entirely.
If the root of the problem is something emotional, then try to be empathetic towards them – let them talk about what’s making them angry and how they would like to fix it.
2. Let them work it out
The best thing you can do if your children are fighting and arguing is to intervene and teach the kids to work it out.
Let them sit down with one another and talk about whatever the conflict it – this will teach them the skills to resolve the problem before it gets out of hand.
And if you want to be more authoritative, you can tell them that consequences are in place if they do not manage to resolve it peacefully.
3. Let them spend time together
And while this may seem like a recipe for a disaster, spending time together will better the relationship between the two siblings – bringing them closer together.
They’ll get to learn about each other’s likes and dislikes and might make them more empathetic towards one another the next time a conflict arises.
4. Find a shared activity
The best way to stop your kids from fighting is to re-shift their focus from each other on to something else. So try to find a shared interest of activity that they both like to do.
It might make them forget whatever it was they were arguing about and focus on the task at hand – it’ll also give them quality time together and create a hobby for both of them in the future.
5. Compliment both of them
While one sibling might be calmer than the other, try to find compliments in both of them. Positive re-enforcement is a great way to encourage your children to be better and do better.
If they’re both being complimented on specific aspects of their personality or life, then they might be less envious of the other one.