How to manage sibling rivalry?

Sibling rivalry, aaaaaaah!!!! If you a parent or relative or friend to anyone with siblings who constantly fight, or you are a sibling who fought constantly, you know where i am coming from.  

Sibling rivalry is a type of competition or animosity among siblings. Siblings generally spend more time together during childhood than they do with parents. Their bond is often complicated and is influenced by factors such as parental treatment, birth order, personality and people and experiences outside the family. Sibling rivalry is particularly  intense when children are very close in age and of the same gender and or where one or both children are intellectually gifted. 

It is a concern for almost all parents of two o more children. Problems often start right after the birth of the second child. It usually continues throughout childhood and can be very frustrating and stressful to parents. What causes sibling rivalry? 

1) Each child is competing to define who they are

2) Children feel they are getting unequal amounts of your attention, discipline and responsibility.

3) A child’s development stages will affect how mature they are and how they share your attention and get along

4) Developmental disorders such as Autism and other illnesses.

5) Stress in the parents

6) Stress in children’s lives can shorten their fuses and decrease their ability to tolerate frustration, leading to more conflict

What can you do

1) Do not play favorites  

2) Do not compare your children e.g. your brother gets better grades

3) Set your kids up to cooperate rather than compete

4) Do not get involved, of course step in if there is a danger of physical harm

5) Set ground rules for acceptable behaviour

I certainly needed to research and hear this message today as my sons are currently going through this phase. I hope like some they will grow out of this and form a close lasting relationship.

Till then the parenting journey continues.

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