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How To Deal With Sibling Rivalry

How To Deal With Sibling Rivalry
“When you have one child, you are a parent. When you have two children, you are a referee.”
If you have more than 1 child, you definitely relate to this quote. One moment, your kids seem to be BFFs and the next they are fighting over who takes the remote. Solving these squabbles is frustrating but comes with the territory of becoming a parent. If you are looking for tips to stop sibling rivalry between your kids, here are a few points that’ll help:

1. Understand the root cause
Your kids don’t always fight because a particular toy is better or one piece of cake is bigger than the other. Sometimes, they fight because they want to grab your attention or feel like they are being unfairly treated.

2. Respect your kids’ individuality
Each child is a unique person and thus it is unfair to draw comparisons between them. When you refer to one child as a ‘good child’, the other automatically assumes they are not a good child and thus start acting like one. Putting labels on kids results in them viewing their siblings as competitors rather than collaborators and leads to sibling rivalry.

3. Treat them equally fairly
Your children aren’t the same and you don’t always need to treat them equally. Setting a 9 PM sleep-time for a 2-year-old and 8-year-old may be equal treatment, but it is necessarily not fair for the elder child. Punishments, rewards and rules should be tailored to your children’s individual needs without being unjust to their siblings.

 

4. Know when to intervene
You don’t need to referee each argument your kids get into. It is natural for kids to get into petty fights and you should let them solve it by themselves. Intervene only if the fight becomes physical or things get really serious. In case of interventions, ensure you don’t take sides and help them reach an agreement.

5. Spend time with them together
Make sure you spend time with your kids as a family – have game nights, watch movies or maybe go for a walk. When children believe and feel that they are in the same clan as their siblings, they are more likely to develop a mutually respectful and loving relationship.

Siblings will fight, no matter what you do or don’t. However, as a parent, you can teach your children to solve their disagreements and not harbour any long-term grudges against each other.

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