Having two or more kids is a beautiful feeling. Each kid has his/her personality, and it is marvelous to see them grow up together and as individuals.
However, sibling rivalry is something that most of us can’t seem to deal with. One kid always feels left out even if we try our best to balance everything. There’s competition, anger, and jealousy between them and things sometimes go out of hand.
The good news is that there’s a way to be entirely fair and handle this age-old rivalry. Read on to find out:
Let’s not label your kids
One may be the smart one, and the other may be athletic. One may be loud, and the other may be stubborn. Each kid has his own strengths and weaknesses, but we as parents must never glorify or demean any of them.
It is unwise to label the smart one or the loud one or the naughty one or the athletic one. Let’s acknowledge the positives instead, like the hard work they put in or the teamwork they show when the need comes.
This will keep the competition at bay and allow them to grow up as friendly, supportive siblings.
Let’s not compare
“Why can’t you be more like your brother?”
“Look at how well he is doing at school!”
“See how many awards she won last year.”
These and so many other such statements from us can destroy self-confidence while nurturing the ego of the other child. Healthy competition is one thing, but such comparisons bring in jealousy and sour feelings for siblings, which are never good.
Let’s always appreciate each child individually and if one of them is facing a problem, let’s find a solution without comparing.
Let’s give them a chance to settle their arguments
It will happen at some point. They will argue. But, we should let them sort the issue out themselves. Get involved only when it is needed.
This will help them come to conclusions themselves, and they will know that they can’t rat each other out for no reason.
Let’s do away with “because I said so!”
When we side with one of our kids during an argument because we know they are right, the other kid will feel sidelined and hurt. The logic may be apparent to us, but he/she won’t understand.
That’s why let’s always come to a conclusion after listening to both of their sides and provide a reasonable explanation after taking the final call.
Let’s not ignore feelings of resentment
Dismissing negative feelings will only make them brew longer. A few times, they will hate each other and want to hurt. During these times, talking to them and showing them that you understand what they are going through will help.
Being stern is also very important. “I know you hate your sister right now, but you cannot pinch her or throw things at her.” Any violence or bad behavior must have consequences that the kids are aware of.
This kind of balance will teach them that even though it is okay to be angry, it is wrong to channel it violently.
How have you been coping with sibling rivalry? We would love to hear from you.