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5 Top Tips for Dealing with Sibling Rivalry

Written by KATIE SAUNDERS

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Posted on February 22 2022

 sibling rivalry

We all know that sibling rivalry at some point is inevitable (it feels never ending in my house at the moment!) It seems the older they get the more they squabble. 

In my own search for how to prevent this and help restore the peace I've pulled together the tips and tricks that work the best.

1 - Stay Calm

I know, this is easier said than done when you’ve asked them for the umpteenth time to stop pushing each other. Try to pay attention to what your kids are doing, that way you can intervene before a situation begins or before it escalates. If you don’t manage it them remember to speak calmly when you are trying to break up the battle.


2 - Avoid comparing your children

Favouring one over the other or encouraging competition between them. Instead, create opportunities for cooperation and compromise. Comparing them is the basis for feelings of inferiority, which encourages sibling rivalry. Praise your child for accomplishments in relation to themselves and not in comparison to a sibling. This way each child can feel they are special in the eyes of their parents. Children are constantly being compared. For most of their life, they will be rated on their performance: grades in school, races, and games among themselves. The home is the only place left that values a child for themselves and not in comparison with others. So, avoid comments like, “Why can’t you tidy your room like your brother?”

Don’t forget to set a good example, too. How parents interact with one another sets an example for how their children should interact. If your children see that you or your partner slam doors or have loud arguments, they’re more likely to do the same and see it as a proper way of handling their problems.


3 - Give credit where it’s due

Make sure you recognise the moments when your child shares beautifully or says something nice about a sibling or friend. If you don’t want to ruin the moment you can make time at the end of the day to tell your little one that you noticed their wonderful actions. 

Positive feedback makes it more likely they’ll do the same again!

 

4 - Let’s Talk

If your older sibling has a good understanding, setting aside a few minutes each day to make sure they’re happy, is a must. Although the chats may be a little dramatic, it could help you understand what’s going on in their head. For a younger child you could spend time reading with them, focusing on books that teach them how to accept their new little arrival.

 

5 - One-to-one time

Siblings can often be very different from one another, and day-to-day it can be difficult to focus on your children’s individual needs. If you can, set aside special time to spend one-on-one with each child, doing something they enjoy. This is a great way of recognising their unique interests, and showing them that you see them as individuals. Ask your child what they would like to do or go, let them lead the one-to-one time so they feel in control.

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