Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry is common - ZenParent

Sibling rivalry is a reality in any family with more than one child. Even though it is one of the most natural things it can also be a cause for concern for parents when it spins out of control. Fighting between siblings starts early with the younger child crawling into the older child’s toys and possessions. As the new child comes into the family, the older one feels the attention being taken away from him or her.

Studies show that at about 11 years of age, a child spends about 33% of the time interacting with the sibling. Yet they end up fighting and competing with each other a lot. Sometimes this is because parents subconsciously favour one child over the other. Children are very smart and figure this out at a very early stage, and this leads to rivalry among them. Mostly it starts off with vying for the parent’s attention and appreciation. Studies show that 65% of mothers and 70% of fathers exhibit favouritism towards a particular child.

The best way for parents to handle the fights is to stay out of it and have the kids resolve it themselves. Parents should only get involved if it comes to bodily harm or a crisis. Even when parents step in, ideally they should coach the children about coming up with resolutions instead of delivering a verdict for the problem.

Siblings

Here are some guidelines that can be followed:

  1. Enforce the no bullying  rule
  2. Hold both kids responsible in a fight
  3. If kids are very young, distract with an activity
  4. Do not step in unless there is blood!
  5. Make a conscious effort to be impartial and resist comparing
  6. Play up the strengths of the child feeling jealous and boost confidence
  7. Display affection physically with lots of hugs
  8. Try to give one on one attention for each child every now and then
  9. Make rules and do not break them yourself
  10. Consistently reiterate  that family comes first and respect is important

Click here, To know how to help your kids to bond with siblings more!!

But if the rivalry is getting so out of hand that it is causing physical harm, mental depression or other serious issues in the family, it is best to seek professional help.

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