Raising Siblings Without Rivalry
How to deal with the coming of a new sibling is one of the most popular concerns we receive from parents of toddlers. In this piece, we’ll discuss several long-term strategies for decreasing rivalry.
The fact that brothers and sisters must share their parents’ affection and attention, as well as restricted space and resources, is at the root of sibling rivalry. Kids are discovering out their role in the family as well, and they are worried about fairness and power. There are certain things that parents do unknowingly that encourage competition, but there are also methods to minimise rivalry.
12 suggestions for parenting siblings who don’t fight;
1. Make sure all of your children are aware of their worth. Reiterate all of the positive aspects of who they are as people and how they contribute to the family. “I love the way you help me,” or “I love the way you make me laugh,” are examples of particular contributions that praise specific contributions and help your kid understand why she is a valued member of the family. Make it obvious that the family is incomplete without each member, and that each person’s distinctive characteristics are equally valuable. You don’t have to tell your children that you love them all equally; instead, you could tell them that you love each one for who he or she is.
2. Avoid comparing yourself to others. “Why can’t you eat as well as your sister?” or “When will you learn to clean up as quickly as your brother?” are just going to make things worse. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of pleasure.” Even positive comparisons can be detrimental since they encourage children to compete with one another. Set expectations for each child based on his temperament and talents, and educate him to be content with himself.
3. Dedicate time to each youngster. With busy families and schedules, it’s easy for a smaller kid to follow an older one around to their activities, or for older children to be forced to wait while tiny ones are fed or put down for a nap. If one believes the world revolves around her brother or sister, this might lead to bitterness. Make time each day to do something unique with each child, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. The most effective method is child-led playing, which we teach in our ToddlerCalming seminars.
4. Stay away from labels. Labeling your children is a natural human instinct, but it may lead to a slew of issues. For example, calling one of your children “artistic” or “athletic” may incite competition since it places a priority on being artistic or athletic and makes a youngster believe that if he isn’t, he isn’t as valued as his brother. Labels also constrain individual children and have a greater impact on how they view themselves and approach life than you may think. Children need to be allowed to try on many roles and identities as they get older.
5. Do not allow violence or hateful comments to be tolerated. If sibling rivalry becomes violent or abusive, you must separate them and warn them that no one will be harmed. Allow them to cool off, show them unconditional love, and then assist them in finding more appropriate methods to communicate their dissatisfaction.
6. When you can, stay out of it. When it comes to older kids, don’t get in the middle of an argument or get heated up when they fight unless something hazardous is going on. If you get engaged, they could start fighting more to seek your attention. (Instead, offer each youngster positive attention on a daily basis.) Taking sides in a quarrel or defending one child might cause animosity. Siblings learn essential life skills by allowing them to solve difficulties and compromise with one another. “I am certain that you two will be able to work things out,” tell them. Please let me know if you want assistance.”
7. Pay attention to their complaints and assist them in hearing one another. Don’t merely disregard concerns about the other sibling when you do get engaged. Also, rather than resolving the dispute, assist them in talking it out. “I hear both of you stating you want to play with that toy right now.” How can you come up with a solution that would make both of you happy? Please inform me of your decision.” Giving everyone a hug can help to de-escalate tense situations and shift the nature of the conversation. Reassure them that you love them unconditionally, even if they don’t always get along, and they’ll usually work out their differences amicably.
8. Keep in mind that equal does not necessarily imply fair. Equal involves treating everyone the same way, which is impossible when children are of varying ages, talents, and needs. Doing what is best for each child is what is meant by being fair. Explain why they may require special treatment (“The baby can’t dress himself yet, but you are large and can.”) Baby will eventually learn to do it as well.” “Your brother is ten and you are seven, therefore he may stay up a little later since you need more sleep.” You’ll be able to stay up that late when you’re ten.”) You’ll see less competition if youngsters believe there’s a purpose for being treated differently and that it’s justified.
9. Pay attention to positive conduct. Instead of paying attention to your children while they are fighting, do so when they are playing well. Praise them when they resolve a disagreement or share, and emphasise how amazing it is that they were able to do it on their own. Praise and positive reinforcement may be as simple as saying, “I feel so glad when you two play so happily together,” or “I watched how you helped your brother with his shoes.”
10. Allow siblings to care for one another. When one sibling is wounded or unhappy, don’t always leap in to help. Allow another sibling to demonstrate your loving approach toward the unhappy youngster for a few moments. This will strengthen their relationship as well as their perceptions of themselves and each other as loving and nurturing individuals.
11. Make time for siblings to play together during downtime. Many children are overscheduled in general, and some parents prefer to plan separate play dates for their children so that they may connect with peers of the same age. Siblings will be able to discover methods to entertain each other and establish strong friendships based on shared interests and activities if they have downtime (without screens). Siblings will always have each other, even if their pals go away.
12. Keep in mind the benefits of having siblings in the long run. Siblings can assist children in learning to negotiate, compromise, solve issues, and understand the needs of others. Because conflicts with siblings are often more severe than disagreements with peers, they assist children in learning to withstand uncomfortable feelings. Younger siblings have someone to look up to and learn from all of the time, while older siblings get to nurture, teach, and lead. Siblings learn to share and love sharing, and they will have company and a close friend for the rest of their lives, even after their parents have passed away. Common history and a shared childhood forge an unbreakable relationship unlike any other.