Parents: How To Handle Sibling Rivalry

Parents: How To Handle Sibling Rivalry

sibling rivalry
two boys fighting

In a family where there are two or more children, sibling rivalry is almost inevitable. However a lot of what happens with sibling rivalry depends on the parents. Whether it will have long-term consequences, whether it turns to be a positive or negative influence and the degree of intensity of sibling rivalry is much dependent on how parents handle it.

These are some specific ways of handling sibling rivalry can help parents put to a stop to it by promoting harmony instead of harmony:



  1. Promote friendship and harmony from the very beginning.

    Before another child arrives, parents must make efforts to make the older child a part of the new baby’s arrival. Make time to personally help your older child understand what is happening, tell him/her that  his/her help will be needed to welcome the new baby. Make reference to when he/she was also a baby and the memories surrounding it so that the child gets to understand that the arrival of the new baby is not meant to eclipse his/her place in the parents’ hearts or the family. Quickly enough, parents will discover that confusion and resentment will be replaced by excitement and a cooperativeness produced by the assurance of a permanent belonging no matter what.

  2. Encourage and foster a team spirit.

    Teach your children how to co-operate and act in a group in order to achieve things. As you groom and promote their individuality, help them to also understand the benefits of learning how to get along and work with others. Don’t reward tendencies for one-upmanship in your kids.Let your actions and words be seen promoting family and the tending of the relationships that come with it. Always give them tasks that require them to work together in order to succeed and make sure to praise them specially when they take to the initiative to help or cooperate with their siblings instead of doing it all alone.




  3. Always be fair.

    One of the things that promote sibling rivalry is children perceiving that parents show favouritism in attending to the complaints and needs of the children. Parents should endeavour to always be seen being fair and objective in their judgement when they have squabbles and in your treatment of each child. If you are in situation where you may have to bend the rules because of the peculiarity of a situation, bring the other child or children on board explaining why you’re making an exception in that instance. Setting an example of fairness also instructs children on how to be fair to their siblings and others.

  4. Have rules and Set Limits.

    Sometimes they are too young or too stubborn and unwilling to comprehend why they have to be nice and fair to one another. This is where your household rules come in handy. This is because sometimes when you’re not in the mood to explain yourselves and even they don’t want to, your children understand they are standards of behaviour that you have set for the household and they must adhere to them. Now you minimize the squabbles and fights without losing your mind.




  5. Be good examples.

    Parents should not engage in competition and one-upmanships in relating to one another and the children. This is because examples are so powerful that they rub off on how your children behave no matter what you say to them. If you treat each other with love and consideration, your children will pick up on it and will be influenced by it in relating to their siblings and others. When you’re laid the foundation of a good example, the rules that you set and the talks you have with your children make more sense.

Having more than one child should never have to be a surrender to a life of endless episodes of sibling rivalry, You can do something it and promote harmony instead.


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