Coping with Sibling Rivalry

two brothers not so happy with each otherSibling rivalry is common among children, in fact it is almost inevitable. Many times when introducing a new baby into a family, the existing child will display feelings of jealousy. Even established families, with two or more children, frequently deal with rivalry between siblings. Just remember that it is a natural reaction, it is how you deal with the situation that is important.

As a parent dealing with this rivalry, you should not expect your children to overcome sibling rivalry and jealousy overnight. This is something that usually needs to be addressed on an ongoing basis, especially as your children grow older.

One way to help your children overcome their feelings of jealousy is to spend special time with each child individually. By sharing in quality time with each child on a one-on-one basis, you let them know that they are not in competition with each other.

When you a forced to referee, allow each child a turn to speak. Listen to their opinions and give each child time to speak. Many times sibling rivalries can be easily resolved by just offering an ear. Frustrated children may not always know how to express their frustrations without becoming irritated. Teach them to use their words to express their feelings to you and each other.

Above all, never take sides. The last thing you want to do is give one the idea that you are more partial to him than another. This will only lead to even more sibling jealousy and just escalate the situation even more.

Lastly, help your children by offering them a simple solution. Even better, offer them questions to make them think about the conflict and come up with their own solution. Don’t just focus on breaking apart a war of the words between your children. Make sure their conflict ends in a resolution with a plan to follow for the future.

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