There is a strong connection between siblings in the same household.
For most families, the more the merrier. For others, it’s a question of who takes the reins in ensuring the smooth operations of family affairs.
Children are a gift from God and they learn faster from watching you. They can easily pick the missing cues from your words and actions without your knowledge. Great explorers, of them find it easy to share their thoughts with their parents or guardians while others don’t.
What is Sibling Rivalry?
Sibling rivalry is a discord that occurs among children from the same household or parents. Any household that has more than one child may experience one form of sibling rivalry or the other where children disagree, throw tantrums and squarely over several issues.
A perfect mix of personalities to bring balance to the family. Personality differences and other factors can create a function in the family if not handled properly. Below are 12 tips to help you control sibling rivalry in your household.
1. Provision of Bonding Opportunities
Just like romantic couples plan date nights to increase and nurture the love between themselves, you can do the same for your children. Organizing bonding opportunities like playing games, having meaningful conversations with each other and visits to different recreational sites can improve the emotional connection between siblings.
2. Honour each other’s successes
Teach your children to be happy with the success of each other. Encourage them to celebrate one another when they achieve significant life goals. They can do this by planning to get together for birthdays, giving gifts to each other and writing words of encouragement on gift cards when they don’t get their desired dream.
3. Acknowledge Feelings
Do not prioritize the emotions of one child over the other because of age differences or gender preferences. Your male child shouldn’t feel like his feelings are always brushed aside if not you will toughen him up and make him lose touch with his emotions.
Siblings should be taught and allowed to communicate their feelings towards each other in a calm tone.
4. Provide Personal Space
Every child needs a personal space where they have the time to explore personal interests and games. They shouldn’t be forced to partake in group activities all the time.
Allow them to discover what they love doing. Doing this will help them navigate peer pressure in later years.
5. Teach Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution is a must-skill to learn for children. Differences in the personalities and lifestyles of siblings can lead to conflict, especially in larger households. Your children should know how to bring the warring parties to a discussion where they can air their views and come to an amicable resolution.
6. Encourage Collaboration
Do your children struggle to work peacefully among themselves? You can share them into groups and encourage them to do activities like house chores and academic work together. This will help them to understand each other more and build their workplace and relationship skills in adulthood.
7. Equal Treatment, Not Identical Treatment
This is one of the major causes of sibling rivalry. As parents, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of favouring one child over the other based on their behaviours, circumstances surrounding their birth or personal preference.
Train yourself to treat all your children the same way. Do not give one more chores because he or she is the oldest and do not pamper one more than the other because they are the last child you gave birth to.
8. Avoid Comparisons
“Why can’t you be like Sonia? She always does her homework on time.” Refrain from saying such statements to your children, no matter the circumstances. Doing this can form a foundation of self-doubt among kids and make them develop a measure of hate for the sibling they are being compared with.
Encourage them to grow in the areas you want to see them improve without comparing them to others.
9. Be a good role model
Your children should be able to learn from the relationship between you and your spouse that two individuals can be dissimilar and live peacefully and that you can disagree on several issues and reach a resolution that accommodates the needs of both parties.
Since they learn faster from watching you, they can infuse these good habits into their lifestyle.
10. Allocate Quality Time
There is no way to resolve or prevent sibling rivalry if you don’t create time to know your kids and the issues causing friction between them. Creating time to have in-depth conversations with them and carrying out the needed activities to change the narrative.
11. Promote Individuality
Children shouldn’t be forced to like the games played by others just because they live in the same household. Encourage them to discover the games they like playing and their interests without the constant overshadowing of other siblings.
This will help to curb sibling rivalry and give them a strong sense of identity when they become teenagers and adults.
12. Set Clear Rules
There is a reason why the government of several nations have a constitution. Rules must exist for there to be a measure of order on Earth. In the same vane, your children shouldn’t be left to their vices. They should know the penalties for disrespecting each other.
Bad behaviour shouldn’t be overlooked as it can be the foundation for unhealthy lifestyles.
Sibling rivalry can occur at different stages in the life of your children even when they become adults. The above-mentioned techniques can be utilized so that things didn’t get blown out of proportion and conflicts are resolved as they arise.
Teaching your children how to manage conflicts among themselves from an early age is the key to having a peaceful household.
Researched By: Aduloju Oluwatoyosi Afolabi