Helping Brothers and Sisters get Along
It is very true that sibling rivalry is a very natural part of growing up, and that a little sibling rivalry can even be a sign of a healthy family.
However, it's very, very easy for siblings to become too competitive with one another, and this can cause turmoil in even the most placid families.
These five tips have been proven to work when it comes to teaching kids how to reduce sibling rivalry.
5 Steps to Stopping Sibling Rivalry
1. Be aware of your children's needs. Both siblings will have different needs to be met, and they will get upset if they feel like one child's needs are met while the others needs are being ignored. Being able to meet both siblings' needs is crucial if you want them to get along. These needs include social needs, physical needs, and even mental needs.
2. Be a good role model. Argumentative parents should not be shocked if they notice that their children are picking up the very habits that cause you strife in your life.
3. Arguing in front of your children is the easiest way to make sure that there will be a lot of sibling rivalry, or a lot of emotional distress in your family. Show your child that there are better ways to deal with stress, and you will drastically cut the amount of sibling rivalry in your family.
5. Don't blame one child for sibling rivalry. When it comes to arguments among siblings, it takes two to tango. It's both of their faults, which means that they both will need to be spoken to.
Singling out one child can actually embitter that child against his sibling, making fights even more common.
6. If neither child is picked out, they get the message that they are equals. Keep your kids separated until they are calm when they DO fight. Cut the fighting short when it does start.
You do not want to give your children the chance to escalate their arguments, and you also want to make sure that your children understand that it is not okay to fight.
Wait until they calm down to talk to your children about their actions. To stop sibling rivalry kids need to be relaxed and thinking straight so wait until things are happy and kids are not agitated.
Using Empathy in Sibling Rivalry
Teach kids how to see things from the other sibling's side. Sometimes, explaining to kids how the other person feels can help them gain a perspective on what they are arguing about. More often than not, children will notice when they are being unfair when you explain to them what the other child is feeling. Teaching them to respect others' feelings will also help them keep the peace when they reach school age.
Get your kids to share from a very early age. Sharing is a very important skill when it comes to human interaction. If your children are not used to sharing their toys, they will end up being a lot more confrontational than other kids their age. Avoid favoritism at all costs.
Most research suggests that favoritism is of the key causes of sibling rivalry. Though it's very common for parents to like one child over another, even though they love both children, you should never let your children know this if this is the case. Make an effort to treat your children equally.
Tell children that fighting between siblings isn't acceptable.
Statistics show that children whose parents believe that sibling arguments are very normal have a tendency to fight more than children whose parents told them that it's not acceptable.
Keep your kids busy with fun activities and educational games. Bored children are children who are more prone to arguments, tantrums, and more.