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Sibling Rivalry
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Taking on Sibling Rivalry

As any parent with more than one child knows, sibling rivalry can be a major issue. It is common for kids to have battles among their siblings as they try to establish their own identity and possibly even power position. While you may have the younger child picking fights with the older one or the older child being jealous and starting fights with the younger one, either way, there are ways to deal with sibling rivalry and see successful results.

Help Putting Out Sibling Rivalry Fires

Often times, when sibling rivalry is an issue in the home, parents feel as though they spend too much of their time putting out fires. The kids have one heated battle after the other. But, don’t get frustrated and think there is no hope. Children can learn to get past sibling rivalry, and there are things that parents can do to help the situation.

If sibling rivalry is an issue in your home, consider the following tips for addressing it:

Quality time with each child is important, even if just for 10 minutes a day. Talk to each child about what's going on with his/her sibling(s) and really listen to what each child has to say. Show interest in each child's activities and praise them for their individual accomplishments

  • Take the time to let every child know they are special and spend time with each one.
  • Try to avoid making big comparisons between children that pin one as being better than the other, which can cause resentment.
  • Hold a family meeting to discuss how everyone gets along, what is expected out of a family, and that you are all a team.
  • Teach your children empathy so that they know what it feels like to be picked on, taunted, or have someone try to aggravate you.
  • Keep things positive and use a reward system to reinforce good behaviors and work through disagreements.
  • Ignore the urge to jump into every battle or argument they have. It will drive you crazy and won’t give them the chance to learn how to work things out for themselves.
  • Everyone needs a break, and siblings are no exception. Try to give them breaks from each other so they can get a chance to miss one another.
  • Teach kids how to deal with their anger and frustration. Usually arguments and sibling battles arise out of frustration.

For many people, siblings go on to become best friends in adulthood. They will be much better off if you lead by example, reminding them that they will be siblings forever, so it is best that they get along. Even among siblings who fight, there are usually some glimmers of hope that shine through to keep you going!