Sibling rivalry is the unhealthy competition, jealousy and fighting that happens among brothers and sisters. There are bound to be occasional arguments, jealousy when the other succeeds and some healthy competition among siblings which is normal, but it can sometimes take an ugly turn. It begins when they’re in their younger years but can sometimes be taken into their adulthood, which can result in toxic sibling relationships and can even affect personal relationships in their lives. By helping your little ones to overcome this unhealthy rivalry, it can teach them important life lessons on how to cooperate with others, understanding and on how to build good relationships with the people around them. Seeing your little ones go at each other can be stressful and upsetting, a conflicted household makes a home that has no harmony nor peace. There is no solution when the cause is unknown which is why we’ve got you covered with the causes and how parents can put a stop to sibling rivalry.
The Causes of Sibling Rivalry?
Comparing Your Child
Some comparison to a certain degree may not be harmful but when that steps over the fine line into criticism, it can damage their self-esteem; comparison is used to motivate little ones and even with the harmless of words, your compared little one will have that need to strive and be like the ‘better’ sibling. They may feel incompetent and not good enough which will have them looking at their sibling as their enemy and that hatred will forever carry on if the comparison doesn’t stop.
.Not all children can excel at the same speed, and some may even fall right of the path, but it does not mean one should be throned on a pedestal while the other is to be like the ‘model’ child. This affects both siblings, building unbreakable self-esteem for one while shattering the other. The ‘model’ child can get overly confident and may even take the step of getting the compared sibling in trouble at any chance to remain on that pedestal. A child having dealt with being placed on the side-line causes an envious relationship among siblings, hate for each other and worst of all, the destruction of one’s self-esteem and that just leads to them hurdling obstacles in life and with themselves.
Understand That Each Child Is Different
It’s important to embrace each child as an individual and everything that comes with them, and not have them follow in the footsteps of their siblings. Children want to feel special in their own ways, to discover who they are, to find their own talents and influence without having any influence, especially not by siblings. Living in a sibling’s shadows can be especially difficult for little ones who are still trying to find themselves and what makes them distinct from the rest of the world, and at home.
Lacking Family Time
This can affect the relationship between parents and children, as well as a shortfall on sibling relationships. Family time is important for family bonding, for the whole family; without family time, it can lead to unwanted conflict among siblings.
Ways To Resolve Sibling Rivalry
Keep comparisons to a minimum or none – Even if used as motivation, it can damage their relationship and self-esteem so it’s better to avoid it altogether; praise them both instead equally, even if it’s just a small achievement.
Enable sibling time – Get your little ones to spend more time with each other alone, to take care of each other and to bond. They’ll learn to realize there is no friendship like the one that is among siblings.
Sit them both down and talk – When your little ones go at each other, have them sit down and release their frustrations but at the end of the sit-down, the reason the fight happened must be solved.
Equality at home – Equality can be sometimes hard when it comes to little ones because they might want everything the other sibling gets and that can’t happen all the time so explaining it to them clearly, and by telling them that they too will get it soon or at the right age will cut the unwanted envy but it’s important to keep to those words and for both to get their fair share.
Deal with the frustrations – Since hunger can because of a bad mood, get their bellies full and throw in fun snacks for them to share to get them in cooperation.
Family time – Plan family outings at every chance, it’s great for the kids and for you too!
Embrace their differences – Your little ones may be different in every way possible and that should be celebrated. Have them follow in their path, their own interests and love them for what they are; flaws and all.