What are the different ways in which you cope up sibling rivalry?
Sibling rivalry can be defined as envy or jealousy, conflicts and completion between brothers or sisters. Sibling rivalry is not as big as the word appears, it is very simple to tackle provided we remain calm and analyze the situation.
Many parents feel concerned when their kids do not get along and it is extremely frustrating for them. This conflict between siblings usually begins after the birth of the second child.
The first-born feels neglected because the parents need to take care of their newborn sibling. Before they had a sibling, the elder child got their parent’s attention entirely. Now, on the arrival of the new child, the elder child tends to blame their sibling for “stealing” their share of love and affection from parents.
Parents usually expect their kids to be loving with each other, to share things and enjoy each other’s company and witnessing sibling rivalry might break their expectations.
WAYS TO MANAGE SIBLING RIVALRY:
Sibling rivalry is not always something to be frowned upon because it helps your children learn how to resolve conflicts and how to negotiate with each other. Parents cannot forcefully make their kids get along. All you can do is eliminate a few causes of sibling rivalry and teach your children how to deal with their differences in a healthy manner.
Here’s how you can manage sibling rivalry:
Do Not Compare your Kids: Do not compare your kids in terms of their personality, grades, talents or looks. Each child likes to be perceived as a unique person with their own special qualities and interests.
Never compare and use comments like “Why don’t you play sports like your brother?” Comparing your children can make them feel inferior to their sibling which in turn makes them feel jealous and competitive.
Appreciate and praise your child when they accomplish something on their own, without bringing their sibling into the picture.
Use of negative words in the situation: As a parent do not use negative words frequently where-in they form their character.
Also, give a positive thought to a negative situation or distract them so that they get diverted.
Some children have an easy temperament while some are difficult to deal with. Make sure you do not favour your “easy” to deal with a child. Be fair to all your children even if you relate more to one child than the other. Listen to both of your kids when they have had a fight/conflict without any bias.
Set Behavior Rules: Tell your children clearly that they are not allowed to hit each other, tease or bully each other, throw objects at each other. Back these rules up with some sort of punishment, so that your kids learn that there are negative consequences for their actions.
Encourage them to talk and resolve problems rather than fighting. Make sure you and your partner follow these rules as well and become role models to your kids.
One-to-One Quality time: It is almost impossible for parents to treat all their children equally and dedicate an equal amount of time to each child. If you feel that you have not been spending much time with one of your kids, make sure you compensate for it.
For instance, if your daughter likes movies take her out alone for a movie. This one to one quality time approach will give your child a break from their sibling and a chance for you to make up for the lost time.
More Family Time:
Try to do something fun as a family, go camping or a road trip. This would help ease the conflict between your children and they will be able to relate to each other. Doing things as a family makes your kids feel included instead of neglected. Hence, they do not feel jealous or competitive.
COPING WITH SIBLING RIVALRY: Sibling rivalry is a stressful phenomenon for parents to deal with. Sometimes parents tend to blame themselves for it. To cope with sibling rivalry, you need to first learn to accept that your children are not always required to stay in harmony.
As a parent do not get involved in every argument your children have and learn to stay calm. Your kids might be fighting to get your attention, so ignoring them or staying away from them when they fight is an indirect way for you to discourage them from fighting unnecessarily.
Let them know that they can ask for your time directly and attention without fighting with their siblings. Also, talk something positive of the situation there and do not take sides and make it a healthy environment.
You can start involving your elder child to care for their younger sibling, this will make them familiar with their sibling and they will also feel included.