How To Tackle Sibling Rivalry – H&S Education & Parenting
Your Guide To Sibling Rivalry
4 Factors Leading To Sibling Rivalry:
Remember there are many causes of sibling rivalry that lead to jealousy, animosity and fights between siblings.
1. Sharing Of Parental Love, Attention- When children start to feel that they are not receiving an equal amount of attention and love which usually starts with the arrival of a second-born then this can lead to feelings of jealousy. This is usually due to the threat children face on arrival of a second-born.
What Can Be Done? Before the birth of the second-born get your child involved. Let them feel like they are going to be the older sibling and let them also know that they will always be the first-born. Make sure you involve your child throughout, the feelings only start taking place when they feel left out. So for example, if you are feeding the baby with a bottle let them help hold the bottle and feed the baby, as sibling bonding makes siblings closer. Never play favourites by appreciating one child over the other, treat them equally and with love.
2. Parental Stress- Believe it or not, the stress in your lives reduces the amount of time and attention you give to your children and this can be a factor leading to sibling rivalry. Stress in your lives and can also cause stress in your children’s’ lives that can lead to further conflict.
What Can Be Done? Every parent goes through stress but it is how one handles the stress. It is important to make sure you don’t rub off on your children. Never take your stress out on your children as it doesn’t help but makes them even more aggressive. Always stay positive around your children and if you need to scream to get rid off the stress do it when the children aren’t around!
3. Parental Conflict- If you as parents fight around your children then you are teaching them that aggression and fighting is a normal and acceptable way to resolve conflicts.
What Can Be Done? Practice what you preach. How you treat your partner and children and how you react to conflict makes a massive difference. So if you want your children to get along and not resolve to fights and aggression then make sure you as parents are doing the same.
4. How You Treat Your Child- Some parents unconsciously or consciously treat a particular child differently from the other, because the child may remind you of for example your ex-husband etc.
What Can Be Done? If you need to go for professional help do it as it is never okay to treat one child differently to the other. If you treat your child badly then the child learns to take it out on his/her sibling. So be very careful about how you treat your child!
SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER:
You can help your children get along better by not playing favourites, not comparing your children, not labelling them, celebrating each child’s talents and successes, avoiding conflicts amongst each other, encouraging sharing, being fair and treating your children equally & planning family time together.
Always be there for each child by giving each child equal one-on-one time and during that one-on-one time encourage your child to express their concerns & be positive and try and make them see things positively by encouraging love and kindness. Always tell them alone that you love them both equally so they know there’s no reason to be jealous of each other.
With older children have regular family talks every now and then, to talk about the differences and handle all conflicts amicably. Always focus on finding amicable solutions and replacing anger and animosity with love, compassion as well as unity.