Being a parent, giving your kids equal attention is important and this is exactly what your children want from you. Every parent wants the best for his child. Your child is aware of your love and undivided attention. The birth of a sibling can be a stressful occasion in your child’s life because of the life changes and the divided attention. The older sibling fears the baby will replace him or her. Siblings can be good friends and have strong bond among them. They can be worst of enemies too. According to the situations, they can either love or hate each other. Seeing your children fighting and hating over trivial matters is frustrating for you. Sibling rivalry emerge when there is intense competition among siblings for acknowledgement and the attention of parents. Sibling rivalry begins on the arrival of new baby in the family and it will continue all through their growing years. The older child may starts to show aggressive behavior. As the children grow older, the sibling rivalry continues to grow and they start competing for different things like toys, food, stationary items. Frequent yelling and fights among the siblings create a disturbed and unhappy household. Different Child psychology experts claim that there are certain steps that can help parents to maintain peace at home and terminate sibling rivalry.
Causes of Sibling Rivalry
Envy The older child may feel jealous on the arrival of new baby being the first born. Your first born child is used to getting your full attention. Your child feels neglected and now the entire attention is towards the new born baby. As the children grow, the jealousy can rise up as the older child is asked to share his or her toys, room, bed and books.
Comparing one child with other Comparison between siblings is very common in families, relatives or friends. It can either be based on physical appearance, or personality. Mostly people discuss temperament, mannerism, dressing styles, nature, communications, hobbies, and talents among siblings. Such comparison make them feel insecure compared to their sibling and this causes long-term rivalry.
Personal Behavior Individual temperament is also considered to be the main cause. As every child has unique nature, hence he will have different temperament. Their mood, adaptability will form a part of their personality. How they communicate and interact with others is different. Some kids are introverts and are not bothered by sibling taking up attention. Others may need extra love and care.
Unhealthy child/ Special attention Sometimes any certain illness like physical disability or slow learning happens to the child, which requires complete time and attention of parents. This will need the parent to dedicate more time and becomes the reason for the other child to be neglected or feel ignored.
Solutions to reduce sibling rivalry
Avoid interfering in every small conflict Do not try to get involved in every little conflict. Let them try to resolve the conflict. This will only increase their dependence on you. They need to learn to negotiate terms and settle the situations.
Be unbiased In case the matter gets critical and it becomes important for you to step in, be neutral. Separate your kids until they are calm. Make them feel relax, and ask them about their feelings in respectful manner. Any kind of favoritism should not be there. Don’t blame just one kid for the fight, when they both fight, obviously both are wrong at some point and responsible for the conflict.
Stop Comparisons Every child has different talents and unique abilities. Comparison can make them feel weak or lesser. Appreciate your children equally. It is really important during child development to make child feel special, so provide individual attention to each child. Treat your children equally.
Say NO to any kind of violence Physical harm should be a strict NO. Any situation should not reach to violence. You should also not violence to stop the argument. Otherwise it will only make them use violence as a tool to end conflicts at some point in life.
Introduce reward system When they start showing good behaviors towards each other and start getting friendly, you can set a reward system. You can play with them giving extra time to them, play video games with them or reward them with a visit to their favorite place.