If you have one child or you have brothers and/or sisters you’re probably well away of sibling rivalry even if you’re not familiar with the term. According to Mott Children, “Sibling rivalry is the jealousy, competition and fighting between brothers and sisters.” So why does this even happen ?
Check out one theory, “Try to see it from your kids’ perspective…your oldest child was once the sole focus of your attention. His requests were answered with haste and he didn’t have to share his time or toys with anyone.
Then, his sister came along—a stranger to him, for all intents and purposes—and now mommy is slower to pour his milk because she’s feeding baby, and he has to wait for daddy to finish changing baby’s diaper before they can play with Legos together.
As the kiddos get older, they vie for the same toys and as younger sister becomes more independent, she gets tired of being bossed around by big brother.
To put it another way, how would you feel if your spouse brought home someone else and expected the two of you to get along? Because young children aren’t able to express these frustrations verbally, they do so by misbehaving—refusing to share, hitting, pushing, yelling, etc.”
Diffusing Sibling Rivalry
What can you do about the tension ? One way is to schedule dates with your children individually. When I was growing up there was four of us kids. So my mom would designate one Saturday a month to each of us and take us out to do something special. That way we didn’t fight for her attention as much bc we knew we had guaranteed one on one time.
One other way to help, that may seem counterintuitive, is to stay out of their fights. Any time you step in they perceive it as you taking sides which just exasperates any underlying jealousy. If you give them time they will often resolve the conflict by themselves.
Let’s talk about it. What’s your experience with sibling rivalry ? Do your kids get along ? Let us know in the comments.
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