Sibling Rivalry

Hello PIC parents!

Sibling Rivalry can be jealousy, competition and fighting between brothers and sisters. It’s usually a concern for most parents and can be very frustrating and stressful. Read on for some tips to help you keep peace at your house.

Many things can cause sibling rivalry. Each child competes to define who they are as an individual. As they mature and discover who they are they find their own talents, activities and interests. They also want to show that they are different from their sibling. Unequal amounts of your attention and responsivness can lead to sibling rivalry. Sometimes kids may become more frustrated when they are tired or hungry and try to pick fights. Also, stress in a child’s life can shorten their fuses and ability to tolerate frustration, leading to more conflict.

You can help your kids get along better by doing things like NOT playing favorites! This is a big one! Try not to compare your children to one another. Let your child be who they are and enjoy each one of your child’s individual talents and accomplishments. Set kids up to cooperate rather than to compete against eachother. For example, have kids race against the clock to pick up toys rather than eachother.

Be there for each child. Make sure that each parent is having one on one time each month with each child. Listen to your child and really listen to how they feel about what’s going on in the family!

When there is conflict between siblings, try and let them figure it out for themselves. Younger children will probably need you to step in and intervene. Help kids develop skills to work out their own conflicts. Teach them respect, compromise and dividing things fairly. You can of course intervene if there is dangerous fights or if your child becomes physically violent. Make sure to set ground rules and consequences for breaking them.

Information taken from Kyla Boyse, R.N. University of Michigan

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