Children learn early in life that they can feel jealous or competitive with siblings, but that doesn’t mean they understand what to do with that feeling.
Sibling rivalry has a trickle-down effect on a home and can cause tensions between a parent and their children if the parent doesn’t set boundaries.
Thankfully, there are ways to set boundaries and circulate positive energy in your home. Read on to learn tips for parents dealing with sibling rivalry.
Provide One-On-One Time With Each Child
One of the best tips for parents when dealing with sibling rivalry is to provide one-on-one time with each child. This is important as it gives each child some much-needed attention and helps strengthen their bond with one another. Parents can start with a simple daily activity, like reading or playing a game, that they can do with just one child at a time.
Taking time out of the day to focus on just one child will show that they are important and valued. Giving each child one-on-one time helps them feel appreciated and forms a stronger connection with them, which can help reduce sibling rivalry.
Try to Encourage Positive Interaction Between the Two
Parents can do several things to help their children deal with sibling rivalry. Foremost, it is important to encourage positive interaction between siblings. Parents should provide opportunities for siblings to interact, such as through sports or extracurricular activities, family trips, or games.
It’s also important to set a good example for the siblings by treating each other with respect. Parents should offer regular praise when children act towards each other and are sure to provide individual attention to their children. Talking with the siblings about their disagreements and helping them come up with ways to settle them can help them learn how to resolve conflicts.
Parents need to take into consideration their kids’ personalities and perspectives when dealing with sibling rivalry. Taking the time to listen to the children, and recognizing how each child is feeling, is a key part of being an effective parent. With these tips, and by taking the time to develop and strengthen the bond between the siblings, parents can better handle the inevitable conflicts of sibling rivalry.
Encourage Fair Competition Rather Than Rivalry
Encouraging fair competition rather than the rivalry between siblings is an important part of parenting. They should view competition as a way for siblings to set positive goals for themselves and learn to take pride in their accomplishments. Rather than pitting siblings against each other, parents should recognize each child’s talents and offer positive reinforcement when achievements are reached.
For family game nights, it is important to include activities that all siblings have a chance of winning, rather than creating divisions within the family. These game nights are also a great opportunity for parents to have fun and build bonds with each of their children. Additionally, open communication between parents and their children is a great way for parents to show that it is necessary to celebrate each other’s successes without feeling envious.
By implementing these practices, parents can foster a cooperative atmosphere in the home and cultivate an environment where children can learn to compete without feeling as though they are pitted against each other.
Make Sure Consequences Are Consistent When Issues Arise
When dealing with sibling rivalry, parents need to make sure that the consequences of behavior are consistent. This not only helps instill a sense of fairness but also reinforces the idea that unacceptable behavior will result in negative consequences. Make sure that the consequences are the same for each issue that arises-if one sibling is grounded for one issue, then make sure they give the other the same consequence for the same offense.
They should also make it clear to them that the same consequence will be given if the offense occurs again. To ensure consistent consequences, it is important that parents stay calm and discuss the incidents, explain the boundaries, and make sure all siblings understand the rationale behind the rules and the consequences that come along with breaking them.
Practice Positive Communication and Mediate Arguments Between the Siblings
Positive communication and mediation between siblings are two of the best tools parents can use to mitigate and prevent sibling rivalry. This technique encourages communication between siblings and helps them learn how to express their opinions and feelings in a healthy way, with the intervention of a parent making sure their words get heard and taken into consideration. Parents should help each sibling feel that their opinion is valued, which in turn lessens any feelings of unfairness or resentment.
However, parents need to respect the feelings of each child and not try to impose one particular viewpoint. They should encourage ideas from both sides, listening to each other’s opinions before coming to a mutual consensus. Practicing positive communication and mediating arguments between siblings will help create a more harmonious relationship between them.
Create a Positive and Nurturing Home Full of Love
Sibling rivalry is normal but can be managed with the five tips mentioned. Parents can build a strong bond with both children, set reasonable expectations, talk about the importance of unity, serve as role models, and be consistent with discipline. With these five tips, all family members can live in a peaceful, stress-free, and balanced environment. So, as parents, don’t forget to give your kids a chance to practice these strategies and create a positive, nurturing home full of love.
If you’ve got more questions about how to handle sibling rivalry, feel free to contact us, and we’ll be happy to help.