Sibling rivalry is the jealousy, competition and fighting between brothers and sisters. It is a concern for almost all parents of two or more children. The issues often start right after the birth of the second child. sibling rivalry usually throughout childhood and can be very frustrating and stressful if its not properly managed; it can lead to hatred in adulthood.
Here is 10 tips handle sibling rivalry:
1. Make friends before birth. Get your older child acquainted with the new baby before birth. Show her pictures of a baby growing in mommy’s belly. Let her pat the baby beneath the bulge, talk to baby, and feel baby kick.
2. Make the older sibling feel important. Savvy visitors who themselves have survived sibling rivalry will bring along a gift for the older child when visiting the new baby. In case this doesn’t happen, keep a few small gifts in reserve for the older sib when friends lavish presents and attention on the new baby. Let her be the one to unwrap the baby gifts and test the rattles.
3. Time share. What older children want most is sharing you with the new baby. Since the concept of sharing is foreign to the new baby, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to share your time on the concept of sharing mother. It sounds good to say that you’ll give your older child equal amounts of your time, but in practice that’s unrealistic and unnecessary. New babies require a lot of attention, and you don’t have 200 percent of yourself to give or more than 24 hours in a day.
4. Begin the day in harmony. If possible, start most days with “special time” with your toddler. Sometimes starting the day with twenty minutes of intensive care—holding time—with your toddler can ward off angry feelings in the toddler toward the new baby and is a good investment in the rest of the day.
5. Humor is the best medicine Humor disarms and catches children by surprise, so that they can see how insensitive their actions are toward one another.
6. Promote empathy. Disciplining siblings is giving them the tools to succeed in life, and one of the most important tools that has life-long social implications is the quality of empathy. This is another way of stating the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Help your children learn how to get behind the eyes of another person and think first how their behavior is going to affect that other person. We want our children to think through what they’re about to do. A lack of empathy is the hallmark of sociopathic relationships between adult siblings.
7. Every child is a favorite. It’s unrealistic for parents to claim they never play favorites. Some parents’ and some childrens’ personalities clash; others mesh. Some children bring out the best in their parents; others push the wrong buttons. The key is to not let your children perceive this as favoritism. Better yet, make them all feel special.
8. Minimize comparisons. This is also the basis for feelings of inferiority, which encourages undesirable behavior among siblings. Praise your child for accomplishments in relation to herself and not in comparison to a sibling. Each child can feel she is special in the eyes of her parents. Children are constantly being compared. Most of their life they will be rated on their performance
9. Referee quarrels. When to step in as a referee and when to remain a bystander is a round-by-round judgment call. If children are in danger of hurting someone or damaging property, stop the fight. Siblings who are allowed to fight as kids are more likely to fight as adults. Above all, stop sibling abuse – either physical or emotional.
10. Listen to both sides. Children will be both buddies and battlers. We not only need to protect growing bodies from physical abuse, which siblings usually grow out of with few or no lasting scars, but more importantly we need to protect their absorbing minds against emotional abuse —which is more likely to have life-long consequences. Sibling abuse is not to be tolerated. Parents should not only listen to both sides but always be fair in settling the issue.
Experienced mums please do care to share your personal tips used to handle sibling rivalry with us