Sibling Rivalry

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Old 27-Mar-2011
Sibling Rivalry

If you’ve never quarreled with your dearly sibling, consider yourself to be one of those few lucky ones or perhaps, the unlucky ones. For fights and animosity are quite common amongst siblings in families across the globe. It is natural to find children battling over small issues and things they like, all in a healthy spirit. But problem arises, when these issues go unnoticed for longer durations. Once trivial matters, they are likely to turn into major clashes, resulting in big bashes amongst themselves. As such, this problem may not be an outcome of simple quarrelling but impacts of what you as parents ignored, thinking them to be inconsequential stuffs. Well, but what actually is sibling rivalry? True to its name, it, simply, is the competitive relationship between siblings. Generally, competition forms the major reason behind this rivalry to attract greater attention from parents. Further, jealousy simply adds kerosene to this arousing fire. But, as parents, have you ever wondered what could be the factors that induce such fights and competition amongst your kids? Scroll down to find them and also see what you can do to avoid, or probably, solve them.

Causes Of Sibling Rivalry

Do you often yell at your kids only to stop them from yelling at one another? Do you find yourself losing your patience and getting frustrated when you hear the screaming from them? Do you frequently criticize your kids for some stupid reasons? Well, these could just be some of the causes behind rivalry amongst siblings. Listed below are some causes of sibling rivalry:
  • While kids are many, parents are just two. Thus, the demand for constant love and attention persuades kids to fight amongst themselves for more dominance, power, and concentration from their parents. Further, if by chance, one of them is being favored by parents, it adds to the hatred, jealousy, and angst for the left out child/children.
  • Less age gap between two kids is another major reason for sibling rivalry. While a grown up 6-7 year old kid may understand the birth of his younger sibling, a 2-3 year old toddler may not accept this. As such, both kids hope for equal care and attention, which when not possible, instigate fighting and jealousy.
  • Jealousy and hatred is common amongst children who have low self esteem, lack of social skills, and aggressive or envious personalities. Such kids are mostly dissatisfied with themselves. Any amount of attention received from their parents turns out to be insufficient.
  • Often, parents give more care and attention to a sick child which hurts other kids. Though this may not be true, they are likely to develop sense of insecurity in themselves, thereby resulting in fighting, quarrelling, and screaming at one another.
Solutions To Sibling Rivalry
  • Keep interfering in the activities of the children, but from a distance. Fights are common amongst kids and a healthy rivalry is a sign of competition. As long as the rivalry does not increase or become dangerous, let them handle the situation by themselves. Further, to stop quarrels, do not punish the erring kid in front of others. Instead, explain and discuss the issue with him in a separate room.
  • What do you do when you find your children screaming and yelling at one another? Do you also start screaming, thereby becoming a part of the fight? But you need to understand that, that’s not how things go about. Never lose your cool and try to deal with the situation in a calm and sensible manner. For if you try to lose your control, your kids will interpret it to draw attention from you and repeat the same every time.
  • Unless you are sure about the mistake and have listened to both the parties, do not punish any child. This will only induce your kids to be more adamant and increase jealousy amongst one another. Talk to them instead and sort out the matters.
  • Though you may love to favor one of your kids, never reveal it in front of others. Whenever you praise or punish them, be just and equal to all. Supporting one child will lead to a charge of favoritism, provoking hatred and revulsion from others.
These are some solutions you can undertake to avoid sibling rivalry. Further, ensure that you take all the necessary steps to keep the causes listed above at a distance for a healthy sibling relationship.

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