4 Easy Ways to Squash Sibling Rivalry
Sibling rivalries can be frustrating experiences. Rivalry is common for teenagers, toddlers, tweens, and adolescents. It can involve the “it’s not fair” line of thought. Privileges, treatment, jealousy, and boredom can all lead to rivalry problems. Here are some unique ways to squash the fighting:
Separate the Kids
Take each of your children on a special shopping trip to pick a project just for them to complete. Don’t tell the other children what project everyone picked to eliminate copycatting and jealousy. When fighting and tension overruns your house, set each child in separate areas and have them complete the projects. This will not only give them time to themselves, but a sense of ownership and pride in their personal project.
The “I Love You” Jar
When fighting and angry words hurt your children, come up with a fun way to show your kids they are loved by each other. Get a jar and cut strips of paper for your children to write kind messages to each other. Encourage each child to write down things, whenever they desire, to fill the jar. Set a goal and a reward, so that when the jar is filled, the kids will get a special treat or trip. When the rivalry comes to a head, have your children read the notes to remind each other of their love for one another.
Spend Time with Them
A lot of the time, siblings fight for attention. It can be hard, as a parent, to put aside your to-do list to make time for your kids. When the fighting gets too hard to deal with, sit down with your kids and play a game or watch a movie. Spending time with each other – with you as a buffer – may diffuse their anger.
Let Them Fight Their Battles
Listening as your children argue can grate on your nerves. However, if you step in every time a disagreement occurs, your children may not learn the crucial skills of conflict resolution. Of course, if the fight gets physical, then step in; but otherwise, stand on the sidelines and gently encourage and teach them to work the issue out on their own.
In the end, you will never get rid of sibling rivalries entirely; but teaching your children how to cope, eliminating the playing of favorites, and working to make your home a loving environment may lessen the issue.