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How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry

Friday, July 05, 2013

Children growing as BFFs or bestfriends  is every parent's dream. If your kids treat each other as best of friends, you are lucky. It is common for brothers and sisters to fight. I, experienced fighting with with older brother during my childhood days and when I was a teen I had a terrible fight a.k.a. world war with my sister because I was stubborn and kinda spoiled back then (being the youngest in a brood of 9). 


Now that I am already a parent, I witness numerous petty fights among two children. One Saturday afternoon, few minutes before our afternoon siesta, Yohan was hitting her Ate with a pillow. I repeatedly warned him to stop, he continued hitting her big sister. Thea got fought back and pushed her brother quite hard and the poor little one got a big lump on his forehead. I got scared, in fact Thea was shocked, too. She cried. I massaged Yohan's forehead with cold compress. Thank God, nothing serious happened. 

I told Thea, that she, being the big sister should show love and affection towards her brother. She should be patient with him. 

So, why siblings fight? 

Jealousy and competition may cause sibling rivalry. According to Kids Health online magazie, Kids have unique personalities and evolving needs. Toddlers and preschoolers, for instance, are naturally protective of their toys and belongings. This is the usual reason why my kids have certain degree of misunderstanding. The older one often take away her baby brother stuff and he will aggressively react. 

Let me share these tips recommended by Kids Health on how to address this concern: 

  • As much as possible Dont Get Involved. Step in only when physical harm arises. Three steps to consider when getting involved - Separate kids until they're calm, Don't focus on who's to be blame, and lastly, try to set up a win-win situation so that both of child benefits or learn something. 
         I am glad to say that I am practicing this thing, little by little. Whenever the two fight about what
         cartoon show to watch, I instruct Thea to use the other TV and leave Yohan alone. In that way, the   
        impending squabble is avoided. My constant reminder is to avoid pushing while playing as well as 
        hurtful teasing to avoid misunderstanding.  
  • Set house rules for acceptable behavior 
  • Don't let kids make you think that everything always has to be fair and equal. Sometimes, one kid need more than the other. It's a matter on how, we parents explain things to our children without hurting their feelings and don't let jealousy prevail. 
  • Be proactive in giving your kids one-one-one attention directed to their interests and needs. 
  • Have fun together as family. Watch movie, or have a DVD marathon at home, do picnics, engage in art and crafts, and so on so forth. Don't be glued to  IT gadgets too much. 

Most of all, show our children our unconditional love. Be a role model and maintain a peaceful relationship with our husbands and children. 


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