How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry and Conflict?

Tired of seeing your child fight? Looking for ways to handle their rivalry in a way that pacifies them and you? Read on to find out the causes and learn solutions for the same.

Tue Apr 18, 2023

Sibling rivalry is very a very common phenomenon among siblings. While every household with kids faces this, it can be very frustrating for the parents when it is too frequent. Sibling rivalry and conflicts can have several root causes, and knowing these causes is essential for effectively managing and preventing them. Some of the most common causes of sibling rivalry are as follows:

  1. Competition for Attention: One of the most common causes of sibling rivalry is competition for parental attention. When a new baby is born, the older child may feel ignored or neglected, which can lead to jealousy and rivalry.
  2. Differences in Temperament: Children have different personalities and temperaments, which can lead to disputes. For example, one child may be more extroverted and dominating, while the other may be quiet and reserved.
  3. Differences in Age: Age differences can also contribute to sibling rivalry. Younger siblings may feel inferior to their older siblings, while older siblings may believe their younger siblings are given preferential treatment.
  4. Inequality: When parents show partiality to one of their children, the other child may develop resentment and jealousy. This is especially true if one child is believed to be more accomplished or gifted than the other.
  5. Lack of Individual Attention: When parents fail to provide individual attention to each child, it can lead to feelings of neglect and resentment. Children may feel unappreciated as individuals and may act out as a result.

    Now, let us discuss some strategies that parents can use to handle sibling jealousy and rivalry.

    Strategies that Parents Can Use to Handle Sibling Jealousy and Rivalry:
  1. Avoid Comparing Your Children: Comparing children is one of the most significant causes of sibling rivalry. Avoid making comparisons between your children's grades, behaviors, or capabilities. Instead, focus on their unique qualities and accomplishments. Acknowledge each child for their achievements, regardless of how small they are.
  2. Encourage Cooperation: Encourage your children to work together by assigning chores that demand collaboration. For example, ask them to work on a project or tidy up their room together. This will teach them how to collaborate and recognise their collective strength.
  3. Set Boundaries: As a parent, you must establish boundaries and make it clear what is and is not appropriate. For example, if one child is beating or teasing the other, it is important to intervene and convey to them that such conduct is not acceptable. Be consistent with your boundaries and follow through with consequences when they are crossed.
  4. Provide Individual Attention: While spending time as a family is important, it is equally necessary to give each child individual attention. This can be accomplished through one-on-one time spent reading a book or playing a game, or by identifying each child's own interests and hobbies.
  5. Teach Conflict Resolution Skills: Teach your children conflict resolution skills like active listening, compromise, and problem solving. When they disagree, encourage them to use these skills to resolve the issue.
  6. Foster a Positive Environment: Establish a pleasant environment at home by modeling positive behavior and encouraging your children to do the same. While communicating with your children, use positive language and avoid using negative terms or labels.

    While all the above tips work at a superficial level, BodhiShishu's techniques work at the subconscious level of the child for lasting results. Encouraging Meditation Techniques can help children develop a greater sense of self-awareness. This can further help them to better understand their own emotions and reactions during sibling conflicts, leading to greater empathy and understanding.

    All our programs are age-appropriate, fun and engaging. Always keep in mind that every child is unique, and what works for one child may not work for another. It is important to be patient and try multiple methods to see what works best for your child. That's why all our programs have techniques for all learner types- Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. Your child can learn the skills needed to be calm, happy and focussed with practise and encouragement.

    To summarize, while sibling rivalry can be a difficult challenge for parents, it is not unusual. It is important to keep in mind that each child is unique, with their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Parents can help their children build healthy connections with one another by fostering a good and supportive atmosphere at home.

Darshan Bawa

Founder- BodhiShishu, Social- Emotional Learning (SEL) and potential growth coach for kids. Passionate about helping children unleash their full potential.

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