Siblings are meant to be built-in best friends for life, from cradle to grave, but even siblings who love each other dearly can fall prey to sibling rivalry. When two children constantly bicker and compete with each other (and I have had my fair share of it in my own house ;-) )it can cause disruption for the entire household. So how do you stop the fighting and find your way back to a peaceful home? While there is no quick fix for sibling rivalry (which has been around since Cain and Able), there some things you can do to help children get along:
What can you do when rivalry erupts?
Rivalry between siblings is inevitable! I’m currently having to deal with it right now in my household as I write this! ;-) That endless bickering that goes on and on is enough to drive you insane but how is best to overcome it? I tend to ignore it which is a challenge amongst itself but if you can leave your children to fight it out between themselves, they have learnt conflict resolution. Intervention may be necessary if it turns physical but do try not to step in unless it is absolutely necessary (or you have run out of rooms to hide in)
Teach your kids how to manage their emotions
Helping your children to understand theirs and other emotions will help them to regulate their behaviour. By responding calmly instead of being angsty to their siblings, they will soon learn they will get a better outcome.
Teach negotiation skills
Negotiation is something we all need to learn for the adult world and starting off at a young age will make sure these skills are developed early on. Encourage your children to take turns with toys such “you can have this ball for 5 minutes and then I will have it for 5 minutes” or ” I really want that so I will trade you with this, this and this”
Strengthen the family early on so that hostility and rivalry does not get to rear its ugly head. Devote the same, individual time to each child so that the other does not feel like the other is loved more. Work as a family unit but celebrate individuality .. each child is different and should be recognised as so. When your kids are playing happily together, do not interrupt; instead encourage laughter and fun in your household. Happy family = happy home.
There are plenty more hints and tips in the following infographic from A Fine Parent.
How to Effectively Deal With Sibling Rivalry (via afineparent.com.)
Do you have more than one child? Do they get on? Did you get on with your own siblings? Share your sibling rivalry stories with us.