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Sibling Rivalry: Catch them Young.

“Siblings :Children of the same parents, who are perfectly normal, until they get together.” Sam Levenson

Yes, you got it right! In a household where there is more than one child, Sibling Rivalry is Inevitable! It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your children or you are going wrong with parenting. Though in some cases, it can be worrisome for parents. But, don’t get disgruntled. Stay calm and non-judgemental. This approach will make your little ones work out their conflicts in a healthy way.

It is difficult to comprehend reasons for sibling rivalry. Many times kids are itching to annoy each other to kill their boredom or to get attention from a parent.  There can be instances when they want to play with the same toy and no amount of convincing or options help them. Likewise, there are many instances that parents witness on a regular basis. The key is to stay patient and step in only if the situation escalates.

On the flip side, siblings learn a few things from quarrels. They might develop qualities such as negotiation and compromise, sharing with each other, being assertive on what they believe is correct. But fighting with a sibling may not be the correct way to learn these attributes. As parents, respect their individuality and encourage a positive bond within the family.

Here are some of the tips that can help you to promote peace in your household :

1. Catch them Young!

First things first. Please make no comparisons. Your children are unique and special in their own way. Respect their individuality and treat them as one.

2. Appreciate –

Praise both the children at the same time. For instance, your elder child might have won a medal in a competition. It is natural to appreciate your elder one. At the same time, praise the younger child with something remarkable that he/she has done during the day. This will enable their confidence in each other. Both will learn to appreciate each other for their qualities.

3. No Favoritism, Please –

Keep your children equal. Show it every day. It doesn’t need much effort. Even small instances can show that. Never ever compare your children as that can destroy their self worth at a subtle level.

   3. Get them complementary toys –

If you find it a waste to buy similar toys for both, buy them complementary toys or equally engaging toys. For example, If you are getting a kitchen set for the elder child, ensure that you get an ice cream set for the younger one. If you are planning to get a jig-saw puzzle for the elder one, you can get play dough for the younger one.

 4. Involvement of both Children

There are instances where one child attracts the attention of everyone. If the other child doesn’t, ensure that the less social child feels involved in some way. If you are around then please ensure that you are engaging the other child so that he/she doesn’t feel left out.

5.  Set Basic Rules

Keep basic in-house and out of the house rules handy. It will make your children responsible to behave in a congenial way.

6.  Conflicting Situations

Stay out of conflicting situations as much as possible by not taking sides. Explain to them, the way they started a quarrel they can end it too. At the same time encourage if they can settle a spat on their own. Your intervention can make them feel that you will come to their rescue all the time. Step in if the quarrel leads to physical harm.

7. One on one attention –

Always make time to give one on one attention to both the kids. For instance, if one likes to play outdoors, take them out every day or as much as possible. If the other child likes to stay indoors and read. Do read to them. This way, both will feel important. 

8. Family Time –

Have fun as a family. Ensure one or two activities a week that you do as a family. Whether that’s going for a swim together or watching a movie. All that kids crave for their parents’ attention. This will make them feel secure and reduce conflicting situations.

Lastly, in a child, both positive and negative feelings seep in at a very young age. Extreme behavioral patterns are a result of extreme instances in a family. Ensure that you respect your children for who they are.

Do not box their behavior or label them on their personality traits. It’s not easy to reach a compromise or negotiation. There are adults who struggle most of their lives in this area. Kids are young and are already learning some of these techniques. Stay calm with them. 

I hope with these tips, you’ll be able to keep sibling rivalry to the least.  

Do share your thoughts and suggestions on the topic

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