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Sibling Rivalry: The ins, Outs, and Dealing with it

CC-BY-SA 2.0

CC-BY-SA 2.0

Dealing with SIbling Rivalry: Every Parent's Nightmare
The shouts. Endless bickering. Fights between siblings make the best of parents reach out for their hairs and pull them out with ferocity.

Yes, the chaos and emotional fallout of sibling rivalry are difficult to manage. Yet, it's the responsibility that comes with the power of parenthood. So, why do children fight the way they do, and how does a baffled parent stop the fracas?

THE TOP 10 REASONS THAT CAUSE SIBLING RIVALRY

1. PERCEIVED INATTENTION

Children act up when they feel neglected or abandoned by their parents, and this feeling arises when a younger sibling gets thrown into the family mix. A child sees the new person as a threat who will rob him or her of the love of her parents.

2. UNEQUAL TREATMENT AMONG SIBLINGS

This is one of the top sources of sibling rivalry that most parents hate having to admit. While they will love all their children, that love will differ to some degree. What is important is not to let the variation become too pronounced, or the child who feels neglected will have some basis for frustration.

3. THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER: JEALOUSY

That frustration n, of course, leads to one sibling's resentment of the other. This is commonsensical but often ignored. The mutual dislike can continue into adulthood if left unchecked.

4. PROMOTING COMPETITION WITHIN THE GROUP

Some parents deliberately encourage their young ones to compete for resources, like their favourite toys, books, or food, thinking this to be a motivation source. But it all goes awry when the physically or cognitively weaker child cannot compete on the same level. Frustration sets in, and the Green-Eyed Monster pays a visit. Its relative, Sibling Rivalry, soon sinks in its teeth. And this lasts into adulthood. What worsens things is when parents make comparisons between them.


5. IT’S A SAFE PLACE TO VENT FRUSTRATIONS

A pesky sibling is the perfect anger outlet. A child who's frustrated by the goings-on of the day may take use his sibling as a punching bag. Of course, this leads to all kinds of misunderstandings.

6. VARIED TEMPERAMENTS AND PERSONALITIES

Temperaments vary between individuals, whether siblings or otherwise. The differences in how one sibling displays emotions or communicates will differ from another, and these variations can result in misunderstandings. r. And o the tussle begins.

A challenge all parents face is getting their little ones to reconcile preferences and behaviours. It's hard to persuade Sibling A to like Sibling B if the behaviour is grating. s

7. WALKING DIFFERENT LIFE PATHS/CHANGING PHASE

Sibling A may become frustrated with Sibling B when the latter suddenly stops doing things together and starts doing them with other friends. Frustrations set in because of changing interests and friendship groups, and, once again, it's up to mum and dad to manage the fracas.

8. UNMET EXPECTATIONS

Siblings are almost always playmates, and one often makes promises to another. Of course, broken ones lead to misunderstandings and annoyances. Sibling rivalry occurs when one sibling feels as though he's been let down by another.

9. THE NEED FOR SPACE

Have you ever wondered why siblings insist on sleeping in different rooms? Everyone needs to retreat into their own world once in a while. And then, space is a limited resource, so siblings will clamour over it.

Sibling Rivalry: Dealing with Conflicts

So, how does a frazzled parent manage their squabbling offspring? With a few commonsense approaches, of course.

1. CONFLICT RESOLUTION

The first of these would be to arm their children with a set of conflict resolution techniques. Children need to understand that people will not agree all the time but don't need to do so disagreeably.

One of these techniques would be turn-taking. Quarrels arise when one sibling tries to out- speak another. Parents can teach their children to disagree with tact and sensitivity.

2. PRAISE PUBLICLY, PUNISH PRIVATELY

One sibling will start to detest another when he or she receives a scolding in public because of his negative treatment of the other. Never scold a child in public; instead, talk to them rationally in private. Calm, clear logic gets a positive response compared with public shaming.

3. BONDING MOMENTS

Find opportunities to let the siblings bond. Take them on more family outings, and create chances for them to help each other. Play on each of their strengths; the mathematician among them can teach the others arithmetic while the linguist can help his younger siblings to read. There are many possibilities, and it only takes an open mind to make them work.

4. FIND THE TRIGGERS

Lastly, take some time to think about what starts off quarrels, and consciously avoid those promoters. If the children frequently quarrel over the television or computer, perhaps scheduling viewing time for everyone may help to mediate conflicts.


In all, with limited resources, sibling rivalry is unavoidable and prevalent. But, like many of our daily concerns, they are not unmanageable. All hassled parents need is a push in the right direction.

© 2021 Michelle Liew

Comments

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 06, 2021:

Interesting about sibling rivalry. My brother was in 1987 and tow years later my sister was born it wasn't very pleasing to my brother he showed jealousy but for a short period. You share god points and well-advised.

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