FamilyParenting Tips

Dealing with Sibling Rivalry

With more than one child in your house, parents end up feeling like a firefighter constantly having to douse fires and prevent flares. Sibling conflict and rivalry have by now become a normal part of growing up and are very common across households. Dealing with them is, however, stressful for parents.‌

Sibling rivalry incorporates numerous elements, including jealousy, competition, and fighting. Also, it involves forms like name-calling, merciless teasing or hitting each other, bullying, bickering, resentfulness, and constant complaints.‌

It’s vital to stay informed when it’s the right time to let your children manage disputes by themselves and when to step in to minimize conflicts. Several practical steps will help develop healthy sibling relationships, helping prevent ongoing and deep-rooted resentments from weakening their relationships later.

The Reason Why Sibling Rivalry Exists

sibling rivalry

Understanding the potential causes is a necessity, and in this regard, it’s worth noting that kids are getting involved in fights due to underlying causes related to birth order as well as family dynamics.

Firstborn children acquire the largest source of comfort, safety, and admiration from their parents. Another sibling introduced in the family makes them suddenly feel like they need to compete for attention. A sibling perceives the slightest differences, interacts, and reacts to their sibling as potential threats to their own well-being.

Often, children experience Differences in developmental stages and competing desires for attention, leading to moments of jealousy or misunderstanding. Most of the causes for sibling rivalry include age differences or temperament, making sibling rivalry an inevitable reality.

Efforts to foster cooperation, direct attention, and reduced favoritism help reduce the long-term effects of rivalry.

How to Manage Sibling Conflict and Rivalry?

sibling rivalry

1. Develop an environment of cooperation.

It is worth understanding that Children often learn by imitation. It’s hard to expect the children to do any better in the case when the parents aren’t getting along and allowing the fights to happen accompanied by screaming matches and slammed doors. Remember that you are trying to set a good example for your children to follow. So it’s mandatory to develop better ways to communicate using thoughtful methods, being sensitive to each other’s needs, cooperative, and respectful.

2. Don’t make comparisons.

As a parent, it’s vital to understand that each child has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, so it’s essential to celebrate their individuality without making them feel like they are constantly pitted against each other. Comparing doesn’t help at any point.

3. Difference between fairness and equality.

Being fair and being equal hardly bear similarity when it comes to sibling conflict and rivalry. Older children have a different set of privileges than younger children. Be fair in your decisions when spending time with your children, and be clear about why you made certain decisions in a certain way.

4. Rules for good behavior

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to help your children understand what is considered good or bad behavior. Based on that, you need to set up consequences or restrict privileges when they engage in the wrong behaviors. Explain to them how name-calling, an act of belittling another person, isn’t considered the trait of a good person. Encourage, reinforce, and praise good behavior, including talking to each other calmly and trying to resolve disputes existing between the siblings with mutual respect.

5. Regular family meetings

sibling rivalry

Regular family meetings serve as a great way to show children how to work together in teams while also offering them a fair chance to take part in making decisions. Encourage listening during these meetings, and make sure you’re taking the assistance of constructive conversations that generate practical solutions. 

Read Also

Dealing with hatred for the siblings

Final words

Children normally tend to get along one moment and despise the next. So, as a parent, it’s important for you to take strategies to minimize sibling rivalry and control the situation when things feel like they’re getting out of hand. It’s not a wrong decision to opt for professional help as well when there is a need for neutral, non-judgmental, and experienced support.

Also, remember that when you’re overwhelmed with bickering children, it’s normal to witness difficulty isolating the real reason behind arguments. Redirecting conflicts toward more positive solutions with the introduction of small, everyday changes plays a major role in making family life a perfect one

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Hi! I, Sakshi Gupta, is an enthusiast Blogger who loves to write informational piece of contents based on extensive research. Also, I focus on providing valuable information to my readers through my blog To connect with me Mail us at OR Whatsapp at +919717462927.

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