Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful
Thanksgiving Football shopping pumpkin pie fall leaves turkey dinner Family pilgrims blessings cornucopia peace love thankful

One empowered woman's struggle against the world
Thursday December 14th 2017

Lessen the Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry is an age old problem. My goodness it dates back to biblical times so don’t feel stressed if it is going on in your home and you can’t stop it. There are some ways to better deal with it but understand that you nor I nor any parent will ever put an end to sibling rivalry altogether.

When I say siblings I mean any children living in the same family. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t “blood” related, when you have children living in the same family for all intents and purposes of sibling rivalry they are siblings.

Children will be children and when living together rivalry will develop at some point in even in the most loving sibling relationships. The saving grace is that most siblings eventually grow out of it for the most part. I don’t believe it ever goes away permanently even when siblings grow into adulthood. It just take a more mature approach as the siblings grow older.

One of the reason we, as parents, will never do away with sibling rivalry is because our children don’t get to choose who their siblings are like they do their friends. Friends have common interest and age and experiences that is what draws them together but with siblings they just show up one day and have to deal with each other.

There are many things that bring on the rivalry and some we can control and some we can’t. For instance the age of siblings, the sex of the siblings and the personalities of the siblings are things we can’t control they just are what they are. Those differences will cause some rivalry period and there isn’t much we can do to change those differences.

All is not lost though because the most important thing we can control as parents is our attitude. A lot of the experts tell us that we need to treat children fairly, be impartial, not have favorites and treat our children the same. I happen to disagree.

Our children are not identical and if we strive for this sense of fairness and impartiality we will inevitably lose and the rivalry will be worse. We need to treat our children according to their age, sex and personality. We need to teach our children that we are all different and those differences are why we are treated differently. It is not about fairness or being impartial.

How to minimize the sibling rivalry

First, parents need to understand that sibling rivalry is normal and is going to happen.

Don’t feel guilty about treating your children differently. Children pick up on that guilt and translate that into you treating them differently is wrong.

Don’t compare your children to each other. They are unique and the sooner they realize that the better they will understand why you sometimes treat them differently.

Don’t create resentment amongst your children. By this I mean things such as:

    Having older children in charge of the younger children on a regular basis, the older children begin to resent having their time taken away to care for the younger ones and the younger ones resent the older ones “bossing” them around.

    Spending an exaggerated amount of time with the child you have more in common with. You will find that you have more in common with the child who shares your same interest and that is great but keep in mind that if you spend an exaggerated amount of time with that child other children will start to resent them. Find something within each child that you can do together there is always something. It might take a little digging to find it but it is there. If you absolutely see nothing start trying some new things until you find something. If you spend time with each of your children doing something they enjoy they will resent less any extra time you may spend with the child you have the most in common with.

    Don’t take definitive sides if a fight breaks out. Take a firm stance that all fighting is wrong and has consequences period. It takes two to fight so once the fight starts you can’t choose a side that is right and the other is wrong. You can determine that one child started the fight and the consequence be more severe but the other child engaged in the fight as well so needs a consequence as well. My kids love to get in a fight and when I issue consequences for of them both they complain that the child who started it should be the only one serving time for the crime. I disagree. My response is simple. The one child may have started it but the other chose to continue it instead of coming to me so they both do time based on their actions.

    Don’t compare your children. Children are unique in every way and you can’t compare them to each other. Children will begin to resent the other child they are being compared to and resent they are expected to live up to a standard that was set by their sibling. School grades is an excellent example. One child may be phenomenal and have an easy time in school where another doesn’t do as well. You have to set the expectations for each child individually on what abilities the child has not on what their sibling has done under the same circumstance. They will come to understand it is their uniqueness that brings on the different treatment and not a “mom loves him more than me” kind of feeling.

    Don’t let your children settle their differences on their own. I know the experts say let them work it out but they can’t work it out or reason it out. If they could grasp it all there would have been no difference to fight about in the first place. When an issue arises step in and take control of the situation. The age, size, sex, reasoning and logical thought differences amongst children vary extremely. They need a parent to step in and settle the matter with each child individually based on the child level of understanding. You can’t expect children to understand and work out why they are feeling angry, envious, jealous or even hateful toward each other when the children themselves probably don’t grasp why they have those feelings.

Strive for peaceful co-existence not perfection

Siblings will never get along perfectly all the time and expecting them to is unrealistic. Treat your children as the individuals they are and don’t feel guilty if it is not 100% fair and impartial at all times. It is impossible to be perfect and treat them exactly the same because they aren’t the same. It is impossible because as parents we will relate to each of our children in a different manner.

Dedicate to each child the time they need based on them. The children do not watch the clock and time you on how much time you spend with each child. What they do see is when their needs aren’t being met or their talents aren’t being noticed especially over another child’s. This is easy to do especially when one child has a definitive talent for something and another child’s talent isn’t as easily recognized.

Sibling rivalry will never end but peaceful co-existence can exist if you follow the tips above to lessen the natural resentment that can develop and remember to always take the time to recognize what unique abilities and talents each of your children have to offer, even if you don’t understand them or particularly care for them.

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