What Is The Best Way To Handle Sibling Rivalry?
When trying to figure out the best way to handle sibling rivalry, there are some important things that you need to start off with. First, you need to understand something about your children, and about how they feel about themselves as well as how they feel about their siblings. This first step in handling sibling rivalry involves a great deal of listening. You need to be able to listen to what your children are fighting about, so that you can identify what the actual cause of the sibling rivalry is, as well as be able to identify what blocked goal or unmet need each child might have when they are engaged in sibling rivalry.
In some cases, the best way to handle sibling rivalry is to avoid addressing the sibling rivalry itself in a direct manner. After all, if you jump into the middle of an argument, you will probably succeed in uniting your children only temporarily – against you! In fact, unless your children are physically harming one another, or abusing one another in another fashion, it is almost never a good idea to get into the middle of things. Instead, when you hear your children involved in a sibling rivalry, the best way to handle it may be to wait until later on and discuss the situation with the children individually. Help them to think through the argument. Help them to see the other side of the story. Help them to identify exactly what it was that caused the problem, and how they might be able to avoid it in the future. In this way, you will be helping your children to develop their own skills at resolving conflicts, rather than intervening every time there is a dispute.
Ultimately, the best way to handle sibling rivalry will vary from one family to another, as well. In some families, when sibling rivalry is less common, the best way to handle sibling rivalry might be to leave it alone all together. On the other hand, if sibling rivalry is out of control and/or is leading to verbal or physical abuse, then you may need to pursue more aggressive measures, such as family therapy or counseling. The good news is that, while sibling rivalry does sometimes continue into adulthood, the vast majority of siblings are able to get along together in the long term.