Top 30 Tips to Tackle Sibling Rivalry
Children compete with each other for parental attention. Sibling rivalry is something parents have to often cope up with. Children find it difficult to share the affection showered on them by their parents. They like it when they are the focal point of all attention.
In every family where there is more than one child, sibling rivalry is possible. Rarely you find children of the same family comfortable with each other. Brothers and sisters fight over little things. They complain about each other to the parents. Each tries to be in the good books of the parents. Sometimes, this sibling rivalry can reach serious proportions. It may persist into adulthood and feeling of resentment may linger on.
The issue that crops up in one’s mind is- how does one cope up with this sibling rivalry? Parents have to ensure that they are not partial in the their approach towards children. Many situations may develop in their dealings with children, which need a mature and sensible way of handing them. Let us focus on issues that concern the coping mechanism of tackling sibling rivalry.
“It’s a fact of life: Children will naturally seek to gain the upper hand in a family, often at the expense of a younger or more vulnerable sibling. They will observe one another closely and take advantage of any edge they can achieve. – Nancy Samalin
How To Deal With Sibling Rivalry?
- Show no partiality. All children in the family should be treated in a fair and judicious manner
- Understand and appreciate the talents and aspirations of each child and nurture it accordingly. Each child has a different personality
- Explain matters to the child why a particular child is being praised
- Appreciate the respective disposition of a child. Temperamentally, they are different. They may react to a given situation in a different manner
- The parameters of treating a child in particular fashion should be based on what the child needs
- Avoid comparisons. Each child is unique in his own way
- Do no suppress or dismiss the resentment or anger in a child. One should try to understand why a child feels in particular way and perhaps explain to him or her why the parent is appreciating the other child
- Try to make sure that you do cause guilt feelings in a child. If a child is feeling jealous, control his or her feelings. Let him or her not feel guilty after beating up another child of whom he or she is jealous. Such actions should be prevented before itself. No point in you and the child regretting it later
- Let the children sort out their differences. It is good if parents can sit down with the child and hear him or her out. The child should be helped to get over whatever is bothering him or her
- Affection should be showered equally among all the children. Parents should not show extra care and love for one child and neglect the other child
- Do not be prejudiced. Sometimes parents may give more attention to better looking child or a more talented child by neglecting the other child
- Parents also have to ensure that sufficient attention is given to healthy child, while they are busy attending to a handicapped child in the family. A handicapped child requires more care and attention, and the normal child may not be able to understand it due to his or her tender age
- Help the kids to get along with each other. Try to minimize the differences among them
- Let the family spend more time together
- Preparing the child for the arrival of the new baby
- A lot of patience is required in understanding the specific needs of a child
- Do not let a younger child be bullied by an older child. Try to handle the situation in a mature manner
How The Child Can Be Helped Individually?
- Let the child have his or her space and time to do things independently. He need not share his or her things such as toys, with another child
- Respect individual sentiments. Let each child feel that he or she is an entity by himself or herself
- Each child should feel safe and wanted
- Let the individual child discover himself or herself
- Reassure the child. Reaffirm you affection for him or her
- Let the child express his or feelings. Do not rebuke him or her for it
- Share your own experiences with him or her
- Explain to the child that it is quite normal to feel jealous of the other child
- Teach the child how to adjust to the other children in the family
- Try to a promote a cooperative spirit among the children
- Do not be over critical of the child. His or her resentment for the other child should be understood and not condemned
Other Ways of Dealing with Sibling Rivalry
- Seek professional help if the rivalry among the children is very severe. A mental health professional can help out
- See whether the school authorities can also help you in dealing with a difficult child
One should accept sibling rivalry as a natural phenomenon. One need not get worked up over it . One should try to cope up with it with utmost understanding and patience. No point in rebuking the child. Make him or her understand his or her feelings. Teach the child to accept the presence of other children. Such attitudes cultivated now, will ensure that they grow up to be well-adjusted individuals.