Parents of these days face several different concerns with their children. Of these, sibling rivalry is one of the most common and universal.
Sibling rivalry is not a new problem that parents are facing today. It is an ancient dynamic that normally affected the families having more than a single child.
“Sibling rivalry” means the competitive/jealousy feeling that arises among children of a family and the term ‘sibling’ is referred to the brothers and sisters of a family.
At times, the siblings may show jealous over, try to compete with, or directly fight each other. So, the risk of having rivalry among siblings is always very high even if they are generally best friends.
According to the recent researches, sibling rivalry is an indication of a healthy family. On the other hand, it is also found that the impact of sibling rivalry will be more on the quality of family life, family relationships, family communication, and self-confidence in children.
In spite of putting hard work to avoid sibling rivalry in your children, these attacks in families can strike at any time. So, the realism in controlling the attacks of sibling rivalry lies in understanding why sibling rivalry occurs, how to minimize it and what steps are to be taken to avoid sibling rivalry.
Why sibling rivalry occurs?
The reasons for having sibling rivalries are many and the most commonly identified are:
- A feeling of threat when the new sibling is welcomed home
- A feeling of boredom also makes siblings to fight each other [Vanishing child boredom]
- A feeling of impartiality also makes children to fight
- Feeling of hungry or tiredness in children leads to irritation and rivalry
- Feeling of dominance over the other also increases conflicts and fights
- Lack of proper intimacy among siblings
- A feeling of status to maintain position in the family
- Ownership over the belonging, friends and parents
How to prevent sibling rivalry?
The approaches for preventing sibling rivalry vary for different situations. In other words, a single approach may not work efficiently for all situations. All that it requires is a combination of ideas that works best to stop sibling rivalry. So, here are some of the ideas to help prevent the attacks of sibling rivalries in your family.
- Never try to compare the siblings’ capabilities or skills to one another.
- Frequently show your children that you love them equally with lots of kisses and hugs.
- Praise children for their getting along behaviors.
- Spend most of your time with the children. Pay close attention to each child by allotting special time individually.
- Never label the children as “the brilliant one” or “the irritated one.” Always encourage the children to develop their own inherited talent.
- Don’t be partial in solving the siblings fight. Never react excessively to sibling fights, as it encourages them to complain against one other.
- Be a role model in problem-solving style. Discuss about rivalry with the children separately and make them understand their mistake by emphasizing it.
- Educate children about compromising and cooperation and how to do it on their own.
- Assign household chores to siblings equally and encourage them to share their tasks/feelings with each other. This develops a sense of unity, cooperation and responsibility among siblings.
Working towards these simple ideas can help prevent sibling rivalry and provides peace in your family. However, remember that sibling rivalry can strike at any time. So, be ready to confront it!