Home LearningParentingHow to Address Sibling Rivalry


Oh, look, they are again yelling and fighting over the same stuffed animal and the final slice of pizza. How many times have you had to step in and act as a referee in this sibling rivalry? It is draining. You get frustrated, exhausted, and, to be honest, sick of your children’s continuous squabbles. Sibling...

Oh, look, they are again yelling and fighting over the same stuffed animal and the final slice of pizza. How many times have you had to step in and act as a referee in this sibling rivalry? It is draining. You get frustrated, exhausted, and, to be honest, sick of your children’s continuous squabbles. Sibling rivalry is inevitable in families with more than one child. This rivalry makes the Moms and Dads exhausted and wonder why their kids keep fighting so much. Sibling fight is typical in families, but it can be tricky to manage if parents do not have the right tools.

Parents want to learn how to foster a warm and deep bond between their children that will last into their children’s adulthood. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing your kids playing nicely together. Before knowing how to tackle the situation, we must understand the reasons behind the problem.


What Causes Sibling Rivalry?


Attention- Children are attention seekers. They always desire your attention. They might start a quarrel only to accumulate your attention. Also, when there is the arrival of a new child, the older one might feel jealous about the attention shift. Once the older one is the sole attention of parents, and with the newborn, the parents get busy with the new child, and the baby is a total stranger to the child. They take out the frustration by not sharing, yelling, or misbehaving.

Being Powerful- The older one tends to boss around the little one. As the younger child matures and becomes more independent, the child may get irritated with the bossiness. Inadequate to express their emotions, they start picking up fights over every trifle of things.

Boredom- As children have a short attention span, they get bored easily. Sometimes picking fights with siblings and running about the house can be entertaining for the children.

Being the preferred one- In the effort to be the preferred one in the parent’s eyes, they try to make their sibling look bad. Children will point out every mistake and create a spectacle to be the hero in their parents’ eyes by bringing down the other sibling.

Age Gap- A five-year-old and an eight-year-old can play some games together, but when they reach the ages of ten and thirteen, their interests will most likely be completely different. These differences may cause a rift between the two.

Sibling Rivalry is inevitable but manageable. While you cannot eliminate sibling rivalry, you can limit the frequency it occurs. Which implies less yelling and more serenity in your home!

Sibling Rivalry


How to tackle Sibling Rivalry

Here are five steps you can start right now to lessen overall competition between your children, prevent future sibling rivalry episodes, and put an end to brawls that have already begun:

Start treating Fairly – “not equally” – Fairness is essential for parents, but fair does not always mean equal. Customize your punishments and rewards according to the needs of your children. For example, you don’t have to offer the same toy to two children. Instead, give them items that are appropriate for their ages and interests. Such impartiality will go a long way.

Let them settle their differences – This may surprise you, but do you know what the best thing you can do when a quarrel arises? Do not worry about it. That’s correct, do something different in another room. Don’t pay any attention to the fray. By ignoring the scuffle, you avoid rewarding negative behavior with your attention, and, more significantly, you allow them the opportunity to work it out on their own. If the dispute escalates into a big brawl or physical violence, please step in to resolve calmly.

Celebrate individuality – We live in a society that prides itself in categorizing people – we want to know who is intellectual, renowned, successful, athletic, musical, gifted, and so on. Labels help us classify things. However, when it comes to our children, tags (deliberate or unintended) significantly enhance sibling rivalry. Children are less prone to fight if they believe you value them as individuals. Love them, support for the individual they are. If they like to play outside, take them to the park, and if they enjoy reading, snuggle up next to them.

Do not suppress or dismiss their feelings – Anger shouldn’t be neglected, as it is a human emotion. It is natural for the siblings to become enraged and fight. As parents, we must understand their feelings and help them adequately. We need to step in and show them that when they are furious, violence is not the right way to express themselves. Instead, they need to learn to take time out from the situation and separate themselves from it in quieter places or corners. They need to develop self-control when in a rage. It is not possible through preaching alone; we must also show it through our conduct.

Plan quality family time – As previously stated, the initial reason for rivalry is a desire for parental attention. If we are effective in devoting enough time and attention to our children, the likelihood of rivalry decreases. Try to arrange for full engagement of yours even it is for 10 minutes it should be a gadget-free time for your children (and your parents). Want to know more about how to plan gadget-free time with your child? At  , we have fun gadget-free week activities allowing you to spend worry-free quality time with your child. The quality time will make the family bonds stronger. Plus, reduce unnecessary sibling rivalry.Sibling Rivalry

Yes, siblings can cause stress, but if they are successfully overcome, they can provide your children with resources that will benefit them later in life. In their journey from childhood to adulthood, siblings learn to share, deal with jealousy, and accept their different strengths and weaknesses. Best of all, as kids observe you handling sibling rivalry with composure and fairness, they will be gaining experience that will be valuable when they, too, become parents.

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