Elementary Schoolers
Tweens & Teens

Sibling Rivalry

Any family that has more than one child knows just how sibling rivalry can become an issue. Siblings are naturally competitive, whether it’s brother vs. brother, sister vs. sister, or even sisters vs. brothers. It usually starts when kids are as young as preschoolers, continues when they are in elementary school, and lasts into children’s tween and teen years. It can even last until adulthood! There are many reasons for sibling rivalry, but the more you know about it and how to effectively deal with it, the better off the whole family will be. We provide sibling rivalry solutions that really work, and that are simple to start putting into action today.

Sibling Rivalry Solutions for Right Now:

  1. A parent showing they value each family member’s contributions can decrease sibling rivalry. It encourages siblings to see that their roles and jobs are different, but equally as important as their brothers and sisters. Parents who encourage children to try harder at school, chores or sports, sometimes inadvertently increase sibling rivalry. It’s important to remember, and to remind your kids, that each family member is special in their own way. Different behaviors and tasks may be expected of an older sister than a younger brother, and older siblings are counted on to be more responsible than younger siblings.
  2. Encourage children to have some time to themselves, apart from their brothers and sisters. This sibling rivalry solution is good for a child’s emotional development, and for the whole family. We all need time to recharge, and a child that depends on the constant feedback of other children is less likely to develop real self-confidence. Lack of self-confidence can feed into sibling rivalry, because the fighting can result from jealousy or even fear of not being the "favorite" child. Kids who have some time to play, study, or do chores on their own each day, will come to appreciate their siblings more.

Use the Resource of our Sibling Rivalry Articles

Learn how to deal with sibling rivalry with our online resource center. Don’t just read one blog on a subject and then run with the ideas presented there; take advantage of our library of sibling rivalry articles. You’ll find out what’s working, what isn’t, and where to start. Learn step by step parenting strategies that you can put into action, and learn what to avoid doing. We even have specific sibling rivalry articles for situations that can often cause stress on a family, like divorce or remarriage. You’ll want to read about grade schoolers going through this challenge if you have an elementary aged child; and your tween will best be helped if you know how other parents of tweens have overcome rivalry between brothers and sisters. If your child is a preschooler, then an article on how to deal with sibling rivalry in teenagers isn’t going to help. Our sibling rivalry articles are categorized by the child’s age, but feel to search for specific subjects you want to read more about too! Learn sibling rivalry solutions that are proven to work. Benefit from other parents’ experiences so you can avoid repeating their mistakes. Once your child is getting along better with their siblings, the whole family will be calmer and more healthy. You can be successful at helping to minimize or eliminate sibling rivalry, and we can help you learn how to do it!

In addition to reading about solutions, you can use our sibling rivalry behavior tool to encourage positive engagement between siblings, or watch this brief video on sibling rivalry with Linda Sorkin, a marriage and family therpaist.