Children love their siblings but find them irritating sometimes and think they are annoying on purpose. Some of them are, others do not mean to be, but it is clear to me that most children want to be able to get on better with their siblings and need to develop the skills to do that.
It is never one sided though. They want the other children to do something for them – after all life should be fair! Apparently!
How parents can deal with sibling rivalry
- Don’t compare and label your children. Your children are different people with different abilities, ages and sexes. When you compare them it creates an atmosphere of competition and jealousy. When you label them it gives your children the message that each person in the family must be the best at something and that is not always true.
- Teach siblings to stick up for each other and praise them when they do.
- Notice when they do get on and say something positive about what you see.
- Remind your children that they are part of the same family and that they are together for life. Whatever they say and do to each other cannot be erased.
- Play together as a family. Perhaps once a week get together and have family time. They will show our children them how we treat others. When they hear us speak to our children with respect and play cooperatively they are more likely to do the same.
As you can see, the role of parents is vital in discouraging sibling rivalry. We have have the power to shape how our children see the world and themselves , so we need to check what we say and do to ensure sibling rivalry doesn’t get worse and/or continue into adulthood.
Is sibling rivalry a problem in your family? If so, how have you dealt with it and what was the outcome? I’d love to hear from you.