Kids are competitive by nature, and while sibling rivalry isn’t ideal, it’s a normal part of growing up. Healthy rivalry can serve as a great motivation for kids. But when it goes south, it has nothing but negative effects on kids. Here’s some advice for parents that need help with preventing sibling rivalry.
Tips for preventing sibling rivalry
Keep the team spirit alive
Do not encourage egoism. Kids need to assert their individuality and thrive in it, but they also need to understand the importance of a team. Your kids have to understand how the family members are interconnected and interdependent to make a strong culture.
Don’t compare them against each other
Kids don’t have the same strengths and abilities as their siblings. Don’t make one of them feel inadequate because they couldn’t keep up with the other’s achievements. Siblings grow at parallels and don’t develop at the same pace. Always celebrate on sibling’s strengths without referencing the other’s weaknesses. Encourage the one that’s lagging behind without using the other’s success as a reference.
Parent them fairly
Always ensure you reprimand and reward siblings equally. If you purchase gifts, cater to all the kids and make them all feel special. When kids think that their parents favour their siblings over them, resentment and bitterness sets in. Be sure to always listen to both sides of the story when siblings fight. If the situation calls for it, scold all parties involved and never, ever, punish one child in front of the other.
Don’t categorise them
Never relieve your kids of responsibility for their actions based on their gender, age, or height. The last thing you want to create is prejudice and bias. Treat all your kids as equal in their individuality, but with different corresponding capabilities.
Try not to discuss one child with another
Doing so causes disunity and distrust. You have to foster a sense of cohesion in the home where problems are discussed and solutions found in a transparent way, where all kids are present.