Sibling Rivalry – 5 Precious Tips To Help Parents Get Better At It

It is a difficult transition when bringing a newborn baby home, especially when you have an older child who now has to fight for the parent’s attention. That’s when the word Sibling Rivalry may come into the picture. I have two daughters. Elder one is 5 years old, and newborn is 4 months old. As soon as the newborn came, I knew that my elder daughter Avni would definitely feel insecure about the love division.

As our kids grow up and bond, the insecurity starts to disappear. Still, there can always be a bit of “sibling rivalry” between our children as they fight for a sense of importance in the family.

How many times, being a sibling, we may hear that, oh, this is very annoying by my brother or sister. The most common situation is that siblings have trouble sharing parents’ love, attention, grandparent’s love, and belongings like toys or clothes. All these factors lead to so-called Sibling Rivalry.

I recall, sometimes I wished I were the only child to my parents. So, this is very common. So, I knew that this might happen if my daughter had a small sibling. But, we all know that siblings are essential to everyone.

It’s been four months now, and we both parents started feeling the insecurity tantrums of Avni. Though we knew this would happen, we were not prepared. Avni used to tell often —Avni Bhi to bachi hai. Avni ko koi pyar nai karta. She used to say this very frequently. So, I understood that I have to start working on this beginning stage of Siblings Rivalry from now only.

What is Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry is mainly the insecurity, competition for parental attention, voicing high out of envy, and fighting between brothers or sisters. It is a significant concern for almost all parents of two or more kids. Problems can start right after the birth of the second newborn child. However, sibling rivalry can continue throughout childhood and can be very frustrating and stressful to the parents.

For example, a child who is incredibly clingy and close to parents for comfort and love might be sad by a newborn sibling who needs more attention for the time being and wants the same amount of parental attention.

One of the facts of life is that siblings can fight—it’s actually natural! Siblings’ arguments are important for creating strong sibling relationships. There can be healthy Sibling Rivalry.

Moderate levels of Sibling Rivalry help child to learn the following Life Skills, which is equally important:

  1. Share
  2. Compromise
  3. Negotiation
  4. Accept the strengths and weaknesses of each other

Still, some fights go too far. As a parent, we play as a judge and jury. So how do we stop sibling rivalry (sometimes before that actually happens)?

Five Important Tips To Get You Better At Sibling Rivalry

Make Your Children Feel Important

When you bring home your newborn baby, your elder child will actually feel ignored and less important because newborns need more attention. Be a proactive parent about your children’s feelings and make them feel important. Planning a special activity just for them and assigning them an important task will engage the older one, like bringing the newborn’s clothes, toys, or diapers. If your child still acts that and cries out, remind him/her of the rules in a comforting way to help them understand their feelings.

Focus On Each Kid’s Needs

Teach your child to express their feelings and their needs. Simply asking them, “What do you need, my child?” can help our children to worry less about their younger ones and more about their personal needs. This can reduce conflict between siblings and help them express their feelings. Also, Read this article on Positive Discipline & Getting Your Child To Listen?

Plan Fun Activities And Photoshoots

Staying calm and quiet and keeping the emotions in control is also important. Paying attention to what our kids are doing so we can intervene before a situation begins. Planning any fun activity together may create a cooperative environment that involves all the family’s kids. Getting similar items like the same cups, same cloth design, age-appropriate books increase the bonding between siblings. Do plan photoshoots together. For example, I carried out a photoshoot every month for my newborn, and then I made the elder one ready too and involved her in decorating the theme. Creating memories together is an important aspect of the life of siblings. They grow up gradually and cherish the beautiful moments together.

Help Your Kids Express Themselves

Siblings share a lot of many things, which make it hard for them to feel significant. We should give our children chances to express themselves whenever we can get it so that they can feel like they have more control and make less likely to throw tantrums at their brother or sister.

Let Them Work It Out

It’s hard to take a step back, but letting your child work out their problems will improve their problem-solving skills. Teach your child how to solve conflicts peacefully and effectively. This will prepare our children for success in their relationships at home and in the future.

P.S: Yelling at the elder one is not going to work as he/she is also too young to understand why siblings are important.

He/She might think that why suddenly my love is divided. He/she is also trying to adjust to the new normal because his/her sibling came into their lives, and everything is divided, whether it is love, care, or time given to each one. One day Avni said casually, baby ke aane se sab kaam ulta pulta hogya. These sentences indicate clearly that she is trying to understand that this is new normal for her.

Final Words

Using the above steps, we can help keep the peace at home and guarantee that our children maintain strong relationships for years to come. Sooner, we implement the above pointers, easy to resolve the issue of unhealthy Sibling Rivalry.

Hope this helps the parents with more than one child. Please do share your feedback on this which would be helpful for parents who are facing a Sibling Rivalry situation at present. Also, check this article about Talking To A Child Who Constantly Says They Hate Their Sibling.

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