Sibling rivalry is a type of competition with jealousy and fighting between brothers and sisters, whether blood related or not. It may start very early, as the sibling bond is often complicated and influenced by many factors such as parental treatment, birth order, personality, people and experiences outside the family.
Why Siblings Clash:
It is normal for siblings to compete for their parents’ love and affection. Signs of rivalry might include hitting, name-calling and bickering as well as, immature behaviour. It can often be seen after the birth of a new baby, but can also happen anytime to attract extra attention or when children perceive preferential treatment.
The truth is that some brothers and sisters bicker during their whole lives. Thus, parents should accept two facts; the first is that there is a certain level of noise and it is unavoidable, and the second is the necessity of teaching children how to treateach other respectfully and resolve their own conflicts.
What Factors Might Affect Sibling Rivalry:
As their rivalry is a natural part of growing up, the siblings fight for many factors that affect their relationship such as age, sex and personality, the size of the family, and the child’s position in it.
9 Tips to help your children have better relationships with each other:
For example, don’t say things like, “Your brother gets good grades in math—why can’t you?” Enjoy each of children’s individual talents and successes, and Let each child know they are special in their own way.
Sometimes talking about a child’s feelings is all it takes to end a competitive bout. Start a dialogue by saying something such as “I know it hurts your feelings when your sister won’t let you go swimming with her.”
It is important that each child has some exclusive properties, but some sharing is important to enhance the feelings of brotherhood and sisterhood.
No shouting and slamming doors between parents is an important example for children. What children see you do will be how they believe they should also act and behave.
Plan family activities that are be fun for everyone. Set some shared entertainments to do together as a family such as playing football or basketball, going to the cinema and travelling.
Each parent should try to spend some one-on-one with each kid on a regular basis, even if it is at least a few minutes each day.
Parents should try to listen to how children feel about what’s going on in the family.
Teach conflict resolution skills during calm times. Do not make it as a lecture. Set your children a good example. Let them see that in conflict no hurting (hitting, kicking, pinching, etc.), no name-calling, yelling, or aggression is ever permissible.
If children are playing well together or working as a team, to praise them is a must to foster this good behaviour.
Twins and Siblings
Twins are often treated as a unit, rather than two children who have unique personalities, so they are sometimes dressed alike and have the same toys. Other children in the family might feel left out or jealous since they’re not part of this unique relationship so this will add another responsibility for parents who should be sure to spend plenty of special one-on-one time with each of their children individually.
Twins should also be encouraged to play separately with other children. For example, arrange a play date for one of the twins while the other twin plays with a sibling.
Remember, all siblings at times argue and fight, and this is very normal. However, by treating children as individuals, listening to them and giving them opportunities to resolve their own problems, parents will help lay the groundwork for solid sibling relationships.