Handling sibling rivalry in older children can be both easier and more difficult than handling sibling rivalry in younger children. While it is true that older children can usually be reasoned with more effectively than younger children, the fact of the matter is that older children may often feel much more strongly about their sibling rivalry, and may not be nearly as willing as younger children to rethink things, and to try to effectively deal with their sibling rivalry. Fortunately, there are some basic things that you can do to go about handling sibling rivalry in older children.
The first thing that you need to do to handle sibling rivalry in older children is to try to understand what exactly is causing the sibling rivalry. A certain amount of sibling rivalry is normal and natural. However, there may be specific circumstances that are making the sibling rivalry more severe or more frequent. For example, it might be that the children are having a conflict in the school setting that is spilling over into home life. One sibling, for example, may have a friend that doesn’t get along with the other sibling or the other sibling’s friend, and this can lead to animosity between the siblings. Or, it may be something as simple as an older child wanting and needing to have more privacy. This can be especially true if the children are of the same gender and share a room.
Once you understand the causes of sibling rivalry, you can begin to go about figuring out how to handle that sibling rivalry in your older children. Addressing the root cause, rather than the actual rivalry, is often the best solution. This method is not only often effective at fixing the problem, it also makes it so that you aren’t having to take sides between the children. By addressing root causes instead of addressing the rivalry itself, you can avoid getting in the middle of things.
Finally, you will need patience when handling sibling rivalry in older children. With persistence, you should be able to get the sibling rivalry under control, but it may take some time.