SIBLING RIVALRY

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One mother complains, “Can’t I have peace, witnessing brawls and disagreements have become my main activity in the home. More than a mother I feel I work more like a referee trying to mediate a truce among my two kids” With all the effort to help them out, I’m accused of being not fair, by favoring the younger sibling. How can I help myself see that the two siblings get along well and bring about sanity at home and calmness to my mind?

Looking after two kids living under the same roof calling them to be cooperative, approve each other, seeing them as equals: to a parent, it sounds like an impossible feat. To induce harmony among the two kids would be an unrealistic expectation that may likely to leave any parent drained and defeated. It’s clear that with two kids a few conflicts, mix-ups are typically unavoidable.

Under these hard put conditions, the parent’s competency lies in realizing that kids need not like each other or restrain from getting along every minute of the day. The closer the kids in age, the more frequency are the differences and conflicts that crop up. The main concern of the parents must be to see that the kids learn the importance of respecting the feelings of each other and learn to become considerate of each one’s needs.

HOW TO REDUCE THE SIBLING RIVALRY:

DON’T LABEL THEM. 

Avoid labeling one kid as ‘dumb,’ ‘stupid,’ ‘dull,’ and another with an appreciative, ‘smart,’ ‘hard worker.’ Unknowingly, we parents create an open competition among sibs, thus instilling in them a sense of hatred over the one who gets favored much. This labeling can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and kids may believe them, and the scars may remain with them through adulthood.

ENCOURAGE TEAMWORK.

Parents have to avoid the self-esteem damaging, and rivalry encouraging contests among kids. Help them understand the importance of being cooperative and interdependency. There are no winners or losers in a family seen as one happy unit.

RECOGNIZE AND ENCOURAGE THEIR SPECIAL STRENGTHS AND GIFTS.

Each kid is special, having his way of demonstrating his identity while showing his eagerness to reveal his competency. He may also feel an urge to prove his advantage over the other sibling. To avoid these delicate situations, parents have to acknowledge each child’s special talent that sets him apart from other siblings. For example, if one kid is good at art, to see that we provide him with material and encouragement to participate in art classes. The feat of the parents lies in identifying and then encouraging each kid’s natural talent and see that the siblings don’t fight for the recognition they expect from the parents.

ENCOURAGE COOPERATION.

As parents, when you notice your kids working, cooperating, and sharing their duties and displaying a sense of understanding among themselves, let them know that you are proud of their behavior. If the kids realize that parents appreciate their behavior, it binds them to repeat the same.

It’s inevitable that the siblings create chaos, stress, and puncture the peace of mind. But if they are mediated well at an early age, it gives confidence for children to work together, be aware of the advantages of sharing, depending on each other in time of need. For children, it could be a resourceful skill once they grow up. It will surely bring in a close understanding of their relationship with their parents.

 

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