FACTS: Moderate levels of sibling rivalry are a healthy sign that each child is able to express his or her needs or wants. (mayoclinic.org)
“Mom, Tolu called me a bad name.”
“I did not. She pushed me down”
“He said i’m crazy”
“Was it not when you pushed me down?”
“I hate you.”
Sibling rivalry is the jealousy, competition and fighting between brothers and sisters. It is a concern for almost all parents of two or more kids. Problems often start right after the birth of the second child. Sibling rivalry usually continues throughout childhood and can be very frustrating and stressful to parents. When sibling rivalry goes beyond childhood, it becomes Adult Envy or Adult sibling rivalry.
It’s both a silly and sad idea that siblings are born to be rivals. The conventional wisdom seems to be that older kids resent the intrusion of the younger ones and that younger siblings resent the privileges of the older ones. Well, yes. There is an element of that. Most kids at some time or another accuse their parents of loving the other kid best, usually when they are using guilt to get something they want. But most of the time such feelings and behavior are short-lived. The sense of family loyalty and love overrides whatever differences spurred an argument.
FACTS: Sibling rivalry is common among various animal species, in the form of competition for food and parental attention. An extreme type of sibling rivalry occurs when young animals kill their siblings.
The Problems And Causes Of Sibling Rivalry.
1. Individual temperaments. Your kids’ individual temperaments — including mood, disposition, and adaptability — and their unique personalities play a large role in how well they get along. For example, if one child is laid back and another is easily rattled, they may often get into it. Similarly, a child who is especially clingy and drawn to parents for comfort and love might be resented by siblings who see this and want the same amount of attention.
2. Signs of sibling rivalry might include hitting, name-calling, bickering and immature behavior
3. It could lead to death or loss of child during a fight (the story of Cain and Abel)
4. It could trigger inferiority (low self esteem) on a child
5. When a parent does not treat it equally, the child affected most could hate the parent(s)
6. Some parents dislike a child who isn’t what they expected
7. In some families, fighting gets adult attention more reliably and more fully than getting along. If the children aren’t getting enough positive attention from their folks, they will settle for negative attention. Even being punished and scolded is better than no attention at all.
8. Stress in the parents’ and children’s lives can create more conflict and increase sibling rivalry.
5 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Get Along
Our job as parents is to give our children the gift of each other’s love an support. We do that by giving them all the love and attention they need and deserve, by role-modeling healthy ways to resolve differences, and by not involving them in any negativity between ourselves and their other parent
1. Teach Your Children How to Avoid Negative Situations. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Walking away from a situation where your brother or sister is starting to get upset is one way of stopping a conflict before it begins. Help your kids identify situations where it’s best to “stop it before it even starts.
2. Keep Close But Stay Away.
planning fun family activities together, and making sure each child has enough time and space of their own
3. Ensure Restitution.
If one of your children harms a sibling or takes something from them, make sure there is a consequence.
4. Avoid Favoritism
5. Role models.
The way that parents resolve problems and disagreements sets a strong example for kids. So if you and your spouse work through conflicts in a way that’s respectful, productive, and not aggressive, you increase the chances that your children will adopt those tactics when they run into problems with one another.
Credits & References