Every family has experienced sibling rivalry in some form or another. Many grew up with it, while some may be experiencing it now with their own children. It can be caused by a multitude of reasons, however, most of it stems from flared tempers that all children are prone to unleash.
Parents struggle with many things while raising their children and most issues may not be related to behaviour. However, it is behavioural issues that can cause the biggest headache for parents and guardians. Finding ways to deal with them—specifically sibling rivalry—is something that should be looked in to. Here are a few ways on how to manage sibling rivalry.
Rushing to have a large family is the dream of some, but spacing the time between your first child and the next could have added benefits. The older sibling will be able to gain some amount of independence before the arrival of the new child. This way, they will not feel the need to compete for attention when they are older.
Don’t Take Sides
Unless they have done something truly wrong, try to avoid supporting one child while scolding or putting the other one down (this is something that should extend even into adulthood). Be neutral and fair in every judgement. Remember, you love both of your children equally, even if they do not accomplish things at the same rate.
Read More: 6 Ways to Teach Discipline to Your Toddlers
Keep Them Involved
When you already have one child and another is on the way, make sure to keep the older sibling involved. Tell them about their new brother or sister, and what changes will be expected. Try and make them excited to welcome the new life into your home.
Read More: How to Raise a Compassionate Child
They Are Unique
Your children may be a part of you, but they are still unique in their own ways. They have different gift, skills, and potentials; and will also be poor at things that their brother or sister may excel at. Don’t pressure them to be like someone else. Don’t tell them what you wish they were able to do. Love them for who they are, and support them with what they’re good at.
Don’t Use Rewards
Rewarding good behaviour, grades, and other instances like these with treats or money is a sure-fire way to cause rivalry between your children. As straight-forward as it may seem in your mind, it often never ends well. Verbally reward your children and teach them the value of good deeds, hard work, and morals; not just to expect rewards when they do things like this.
Sibling rivalry can be a nightmare for some, but there is certainly help if you continue looking hard enough. Don’t give up hope, and don’t expect changes to occur immediately. Behavioural changes will take time and constant supervision. Good luck!