Sibling rivalry seems to be a topic as old as time itself, yet so many parents still battle with it. What is it, why does it happen, and can we stop it? Read on to find out how to deal with sibling rivalry in a way that won’t cause chaos in your family.
What is sibling rivalry?
As parents, we all want our kids to get along great. But there will be disagreements between siblings, it’s unavoidable. Some kids fight over toys, and others simply annoy the living crap out of each other. It’s a natural part of growing up, and it happens in all homes.
Why and how to deal with sibling rivalry
Although it cannot be avoided, there are ways in which we can deal with sibling rivalry. Follow these tips to help ensure a non-volatile situation in your home
Allow older kids to help care for younger kids
If your eldest child helps feed the baby or even just soothes them when they’re crying, it may help strengthen the relationship between siblings. Encourage your older child to be proud of the fact that they’re the oldest sibling.
Never compare kids where they can hear you
Yes, your kids have differences, but these shouldn’t be discussed in front of the kids. The comparison you’re drawing between your kids might be perceived as criticism. This, in turn, escalates sibling rivalry, waging a massive war between siblings.
Don’t butt in
There will be times where you’ll need to step in and settle a spat with the kids. But in general, kids should be left to settle their differences on their own. If your kids come to you for help, simply explain to them that it’s not your battle. They need to know that if they created a problem, they’re responsible for ending it. You need to stay on neutral ground.
Don’t tolerate violence
You need to let your kids know that violence is unacceptable, regardless of how little they like each other. Be sure to praise them when you see them solving their own conflicts as well.
Never punish one in front of the other
There will be times when scolding and punishment are necessary, but that needs to happen in private. You don’t want kid teasing the other, so if you have to step in, do it in a private space.