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How Parents Can Defuse Sibling Rivalry
It is impossible and undesirable to completely avoid sibling rivalry because it is a healthy, ordinary part of growing up. However, arguments should not occur all the time because constant fighting can cause everyone in your family to feel more stress.
Although siblings do have arguments about various things, they also have the chance to form lasting bonds with one another. You can help your children to bond better and argue less often if you follow these simple instructions.
- Interact attentively with each of your children, and offer each child ample time.
Sibling rivalry is frequently nothing more than trying to receive more attention. Read a story to your youngest child and help your teenage daughter pick out a new wardrobe; each child will benefit from the time you devote to his or her interests. Demonstrate to each of them that you are enthusiastic about their interests, whether they include soccer games or musical performances.
- Look at your kids as unique persons.
Don’t make comparisons between your siblings. Treat your children as people who have their own unique personalities, and give them positive feedback about their talents and gifts.
- Train them to learn how to resolve their conflicts.
A child who is fortunate enough to have a brother or sister can use this opportunity to learn different skills. Instruct your children to make compromises, regard each other with respectful attitudes, and take turns performing both chores and fun things.
- Encourage your kids to refrain from snitching on each other.
Inform your kids that tattling is not acceptable. However, your children also need to understand that it is different if someone is in a dangerous situation.
- Pay attention to anything that can trigger a sense of insecurity.
Major events, such as having a new baby or beginning school, can cause tensions to grow. Even mundane issues, such as hunger or tiredness, can make it hard for youngsters to stay on the sunny side.
- Help your children to interact with each other in positive ways.
Provide your children openings to discuss things they appreciate about each other. Explain to your children the advantages of having a large family. Take your children with you on vacations a couple of times a year because the bonding they experience will give them more inner strength when their lives are filled with unpleasant problems.
- Set aside a specific day each week for a family meeting.
When your family has scheduled weekly meetings, tasks and activities are more easily accomplished. Kids feel that they are part of the family when you allow them to voice their opinions; your children will want to participate in chores and activities if they are permitted to tell you their views.
- Always set a good example for your children.
Create a harmonious atmosphere for them. Your children mimic your moods, so try to set a good example by maintaining a peaceful attitude. Involve the entire family in activities, like going on nature walks or picking out music to listen to, to reduce stress.
- Teach your kids to compromise with each other.
Keep a close eye on them, but allow them to take the first shot at resolving their differences. You can suggest specific methods that will help them, but first allow your kids to try and resolve the arguments on their own. The most important thing to learn is how to find resolutions.
- Mediate the situation as needed.
Understand when it is time for you to take charge. You need to intervene whenever your children have fist fights, call each other bad names, or scream at one another. If your children persist in these activities, you may need to take them to a counselor.
- Encourage your children to discuss how they feel about their problems.
Children advance toward adulthood with more self-esteem when they grow up telling you about their feelings and needs. Learn to develop the quality of patience.
- Help children to develop positive attitudes that make them want everyone to win.
Each person feels self-confident when everyone learns to cooperate. Perhaps your children could take turns with fun things (e.g., video games) and chores, such as taking the trash out.
- Let them know your wishes ahead of time.
If you notice that your children are no longer negotiating, remind them in a calm way that they need to negotiate. When children understand that a trip they’ve been anticipating for a long time is at stake, there will be less conflict over car seating arrangements and no fighting over the front seat.
- If you need to take a disciplinary action, make sure you do not embarrass your child by applying the discipline in front of the child’s sibling. If you need to discipline your child, do so privately. Tell them that it is not acceptable when they make overly critical remarks to their siblings.
Children frequently compete with each other in order to gain more recognition from their mothers and fathers. Instruct your children about things they can do to settle arguments without hostility; your kids will learn how to appreciate their brothers and sisters instead of having constant arguments.