5 primary reasons for sibling rivalry:
- Gain your attention:Do your kids miss getting ‘real’ emotional care and time from you? If they do, boom, sibling rivalry is a SYMPTOM to that, not a problem!
- Stress at home:Getting along is an emotional problem. If there is emotional instability at home, this is one way it will show up. Are you or your kids overwhelmed (we call it stress) or depressed?
- Model Adults:Kids often solve problems in the way they view adults solve problems. Do you resort to yelling, back talking, arguing with the other adults in your life. If either of the adult does this at home, why blame the kids?
- Sense your energy: Do you feel life is being ‘UNFAIR’ to you? If it is, your kids are only REFLECTING or MIRRORING your feelings!
- The Bully:Is one kid ‘honestly’ a bully to the other? Is one smarter, more controlling or stronger in some way and overpowers the other? OR do you often ask the ‘older’ child to ‘give in’? If you do, it is 100% unfair to the older child!Solutions:
1. 1st recognise the true reason and root cause. Don’t jump to solutions until you have done proper diagnosis.
- Ask the kids what do they miss from you – the parents and what do they think is the reason for the rivalry?
- Allow them to solve their problems. Intervene only in situations of physical or emotional harm or any emergencies.
- Explain to them with real life people on how pappa and mumma show love differently and how the kids themselves are different with pappa and mumma. Use story books to explain how no two people in the world are alike, not even twins.
- Do a reality check, in your heart do you favor or admire one of your child over the other? It is ok if you do, that is called being HUMAN. However, be true about that in your heart and see if you recognise any objective reason for your discretion? Is one of the child more like you or more co-operative?
- Remedy your ‘unfair’ behaviors. If you have overloaded the older child with responsibilities and always or often asking the older child to make compromises and give in while you feel ‘bad’ for the younger child, you are responsible for the older child’s hatred and bully behavior towards the younger child. How fair are you being truly? It is never too late to make changes
- Talk to other parents, you may get some wonderful sugggestions.
- Ask kids for the solutions. They are the best problem solvers, ask each of them separately and then together, what would they do if they were the parents? Share your own childhood stories and be real. Did you find solutions to sibling rivalry with your siblings or you didn’t. Why did you not find solutions? Reflect on your own life and see what you can find.
- Does one child gain more approval and appreciation from the family over another? Is it because one is fat, the other is not, one is fair or smarter or more chirpy personality? Also, how severe is the rivalry. Do they hate each other outright or it is a love-hate or love-fight-love relationship? Seek professional help from a child counselor or psychologist when you just can’t find a way out.
Hope this helps. <3