Tips On Preventing Sibling Jealousy And Fighting When You Have 2 Or More Kids. Having a child is a huge decision that changes a couple’s interpersonal relationship forever. It is quite a challenge to be a parent, but parenting siblings takes it to a whole new level. You have to ensure that you’re looking after each of your children adequately. You also have to ensure they know and believe that. Jealousy in siblings can have lifelong impacts on the relationship between your children. Here are a few tips on how to stop sibling rivalry between your children.
Gather information on what causes sibling rivalry, why siblings get jealous of each other, and how that can affect their lives. You need to have a clear picture of what you’re dealing with before you try to resolve it. If you don’t do this, the process will end up being much harder than it should have been. In spite of that you may actually do more harm than good in your attempts to stop sibling rivalry.
Children are usually not very self-aware, so it may not help to ask them what they’re feeling or why. It’s still a very good idea to do it anyway. When you ask your kids such things, they understand that you care about them. They also understand that you are not happy about the fact that they fight the way they do. Sibling rivalry is often caused by one child feeling neglected in comparison to the other. If you talk to them about it, half the problem is resolved because they get your attention.
When you speak to your children and explain that you don’t like their fights, they gain your attention. While this resolves the immediate problem, it may simultaneously fuel the long-term issue at hand. Jealousy in siblings is also often a result of inadequate attention from one or both parents. Either or all of your children might realize that fighting gets them your attention, they may do more of it just to get your attention, even if it is in distress.
As parents, you and your partner have the most important place in your children’s hearts. Even if they seem to be closer to their grandparents than to you, your opinion always matters more to them. Other people in your children’s lives may compare them to each other, but you must actively ensure that you don’t. When you find your children comparing themselves against each other, actively discourage such behaviour. Sibling fighting can be quite nasty, you must ensure you are never the cause of it.
You may think of praising both or all of your children when one of them achieves something just to avoid sibling rivalry. However, this is actually a harshly counter-productive move. Praise only the child who has done something to earn it, and if the others object, explain to them that they have to earn praise. If you give out unearned praises to the child or children who haven’t worked hard to earn it, the one who has worked for it will feel cheated and discouraged. Eventually, each of them may wait for the other to take the effort to elicit praise and quit taking initiatives to earn it themselves.
Some amount of fighting is expected to happen between siblings, it would be unhealthy if it doesn’t. Competing with each other motivates your children to take initiatives to grow and improve on their own. If they get used to you stepping in to resolve every one of their fights, they may never learn to reconcile and compromise with each other. It might encourage selfishness in each of your children. Instead, take a back seat and allow them to sort out their differences as often as possible. Step in only when it is absolutely necessary.
Competition in siblings is an expected and healthy part of their lives. It teaches them valuable life-skills at an early age and creates the potential for a strong, lifelong bond. Siblings who know they can fight without separating from each other tend to share a closer bond than those who avoid fighting altogether. However, when competition turns into sibling rivalry and jealousy in siblings, it needs you to step in and tone down the animosity to acceptable levels.
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