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Handling Sibling Rivalry Among Children

Handling Sibling Rivalry Among Children

Sibling rivalry is a type of competition or animosity among brothers and sisters. It can be jealousy, competition or fights between siblings. It’s a major cause for concern for almost all parents of two or more children. These problems often start right after the birth of the second child. This sibling rivalry continues throughout childhood, and can be very frustrating and stressful for parents.

Rivalry, arguing, bickering, squabbling, etc. can be frustrating and take a rather heavy toll on the parents over the course of a lengthy period of time. It can be mentally and physically exhausting and draining when your kids are at constant odds with each other. A certain amount of conflict – bickering, fighting, and arguing is quite normal amongst siblings; even necessary in order to grow and develop their social and emotional skills.

It may feel like their constant arguing and fighting will drive you crazy. It teaches not only them, but also you, the parents how to deal with, and resolve conflicts; especially for children, since it will teach them how to do so from a young age, if handled in the right manner and with a delicate touch. Learning from the conflict they are at with their siblings, will aid in teaching them on how to deal with and handle the relationships that they will form outside of their immediate family as they grow and get older.

angry sis

On the other hand, if your children are fighting and at odds with each other all the time, it can disrupt the family stability and dynamics; causing stress levels to run at high levels. In addition, it can also be physically and mentally draining to monitor and referee your children all the time, being stressed about if they are fighting when you’re not around.

Try to picture how peaceful things would be if your children got along with each other! Below are some ways and methods you can try to reduce the fighting between your children:

  1. Never Play Favorites: Be there for each child. Set aside ‘alone time’ for each child, if possible. Try to get in a few minutes each day for each of them. It can mean a lot for them.

 

  1. Take Care and Look After Your Children’s Needs: The conflicts and fighting between your children often stems from a want for attention from you, their parents. They want to be given attention, loved, and valued as much as, if not more than their sibling. This way, your children won’t feel the instinctive urge and need to compete with each other for your love, affection, validation and acknowledgement. You can do so by spending some personal, one-on-one time with each child, giving them your undivided attention. Giving them an abundance of hugs and smiles is another great way of letting them know how much you love both of them. Thirdly try to avoid making unnecessary comparisons between your children. This will only cause a rift and divide between them, and will lead to an unhealthy rivalry between your children. It may also help if each child has something that is unique to just them, special things of their own, something that their sibling does not have. This does not necessarily have to be an object either; it can be a private space too.

 

  1. Set Clear Boundaries & Family Rules: Setting a clear set of family rules and boundaries makes it easier and lets your children know how they are expected to behave and what is okay, and what is not. You can implement this by using the following tips.

 

  1. Write and note down rules that involve positive statements about how you want your children to treat each other.
  2. Gather up, involve, and work with your children while setting up these ground rules. This is because if children are involved in the creation of the rules, then there are higher chances of your children respecting and abiding by the rules.
  3. Place various copies of these rules around the house, where your children are likely to see them.
  4. Make sure to follow up and check if the implemented rules are being followed, and if broken, start by giving a friendly reminder. Give them another chance if the rules are broken once more. Beyond this point if the rules are still not followed and broken, then resort to the agreed upon punishment and consequence.

 

  1. Catch Them in Good Moments: What this means that is you give your children positive feedback and affirmations when they are behaving well. By telling and complementing your children what they’re doing well and when they’re doing well, you will be far more likely to see that behavior more often.

5.  Show Your Children How to Get Along: Remember, you are your children’s number one idol and role model. They will take note of the most seemingly smallest and insignificant decisions you make and actions you take in your day-to-day life. They will take notice if you resolve your conflicts and problems without resorting to fighting or other anger driven solutions. If you want your children to work out their problems, personal or with their siblings in a calm and respectful manner, they need to see you, their role model doing it. You have to set an appropriate example for them to follow.

 

6.  Let Children Work Out Their Problems: With your help, your children can learn to resolve problems and conflicts, without fighting. But there will come the time when your children will have to start to work out their own problems by themselves, without getting into a duel. This will help your children get along better and deal with conflicts in a positive manner, not only with their siblings but other children too.

 

7.  Plan Family Activities: Family activities are fun for everyone. Keep books for children around. Do some fun math activities together. Read aloud children’s story books that have good moral values. Play board games together.

 

Learning Time has some fantastic learning materials for pre-school kids. Books, videos, puzzles, board games, apps; everything children need to imbibe the right values, and get started on the journey of early childhood education. Get on to the website www.learningtime.co and ask for a free presentation.

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