Keeping sibling rivalry to a minimum can be a very difficult task for any parent. Realistically, every parent knows deep down that there is no way to prevent sibling rivalry entirely; in fact, some research even suggests that a certain amount of sibling rivalry is not only normal, but a healthy part of any family’s life. Still, sibling rivalry can sometimes get out of hand. It is all too often that a little bit of sibling rivalry turns into a lot of sibling rivalry. Fortunately, there are things that you can do as a parent to keep your kids’ sibling rivalry to a minimum.
The first thing that you need to do in order to keep your kids’ sibling rivalry to a minimum is to be aware of the things that can cause sibling rivalry. Sibling rivalry is, many times, a struggle for your attention. In other cases, especially when siblings may share a bed room or a living space, sibling rivalry can result from privacy concerns. In other cases, sibling rivalry can be caused by jealousy, whether it is from a perceived unfair treatment of one of your kids, or whether it is due to privileges that an older child may have over a younger child. Knowing these potential causes of sibling rivalry can help keep your kids sibling rivalry to a minimum because you can proactively address some of these issues, such as creating a personal space for each child, and making sure that both have your attention.
When sibling rivalry does occur, you need to recognize that your role as a parent is generally not to get in the middle of your kids’ sibling rivalry, but rather to help them communicate their wants and needs with one another. You need to be able to help your kids recognize the other person’s point of view, and to be able to talk through their concerns in a calm and rational way.
Keeping your kids’ sibling rivalry to a minimum is a relatively simple task to understand, although it can often be much more difficult to carry out. By being persistent in these principles, however, you should be able to keep your kids’ sibling rivalry to a minimum.