It is very probable that the most upsetting sound to parents is the sound of their children constantly bickering. It can be so stressful to hear your kids making mountains out of molehills daily.
There are so many different causes of sibling rivalry, and they may differ for each different family, but that certainly doesn’t make it any less irritating or heartbreaking.
The good news? Sibling rivalry, to an extent, is totally normal. In fact, some degree of conflict and rivalry is considered a normal part of development and growth.
Sometimes though, this rivalry and conflict can easily erupt and become a bigger problem. Things like constant tension, physical altercations, and overall unhappiness is a good sign that there is something bigger in the making.
SIBLING RIVALRY: THE CAUSES AND HOW TO COPE
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Most sibling rivalry is perpetuated by jealousy. There are many different reasons your children may feel jealousy toward each other and they are defined mostly by age ranges and situations. Your youngest may feel jealousy toward their older sibling for the simple fact that the older sibling gets different privileges than them such as a later bedtime or more independence. Your oldest may feel jealousy toward their younger sibling due to the fact that they may require more of your attention.
The key is to get to the bottom of what they are feeling jealous of. Talk to your children and allow them to vocalize their feelings to you. Giving your children an open forum to express themselves in a positive way may lead to a decrease in jealousy and allow your children to realize that they don’t need to take their negative feelings out on their sibling.
Something as simple as a close proximity in the age of your children can help to foster sibling rivalry. The closer your children are in age makes it easier for them to make comparisons in the way they are treated by their parents and find subtle difference in treatment that may result in hurt feelings.
As always, the best course of action is to teach your children to express themselves in a more positive manner and help to foster a bond because of their age, not despite it.
There are many different ways to deal with Sibling Rivalry. Most of which include team building activities, leading by example and just allowing them to express themselves by giving them a more positive outlet.
Check out this book Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life for even MORE great tips!
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