When there are children at home, of any age, there is definitely going to be sibling rivalry. There is no particular reason behind the fact; however jealousy and anger are bound to develop in human beings with other emotions.
If one of your child fights because of the impartial or inferior feeling, remember this is more than just a light hearted fight. If you ignore sibling rivalry there can be chances that the relation between your children may become permanently rough. Recognize sibling rivalry in the initial stage and act accordingly.
Do not act as a Judge – Be careful and always have control over your judgment skills. Do not judge a child in between a sibling argument and conclude the fault. Try to be neutral like a referee, always scold equally and explain the consequences of hurting each other. Punish alike, in spite of whom so ever is at fault. This way, children will be aware of the fact that everyone will be punished likewise.
Listen when children complain – If your child complains of sibling habits, listen very carefully. Try to find out what is right or wrong wherever possible, whether the habits are actually annoying or the child is just trying to pick on the other sibling. Listening to your children will help solve half of your problems. You can fix the minor issues by explaining to the child of its consequences and results or discuss this in a family meeting if required. You could also let your children solve this among themselves if they are not too serious. Keep in mind, listening to a child doesn’t mean that you agree to their point of view, however it shows that you care and he/she is important.
Put responsibilities – This one is a tricky option. If your children are fighting over daily chores like keeping the room clean, cleaning the house on weekends or shuffling toys too often, make them swap each others work. Shift responsibilities, put them into the shoes of their sibling and let them do their job. Ask them to do it exactly the way the other child have been doing, not even a penny less or more. This is how the difficulty and time required for the job will be understood by the child in practicality. This will help create harmony, corporation and calmer team work. You should also solve many future fights, eradicate jealousy and save your time to resolve tiffs.
Practice what you preach – Show your children intentionally that love & respect are two way give and take process. You will get love and respect in return only when offered in the first place. Keep it a family thing, not just onto the argumentative siblings. Bring equality, in actions and words. Purchase their stuff in uniform priority, do not neglect a need of one over the other, and rather explain if the expense is extravagant. Praise them when they do team work, but do not praise one child in front of the other as a habit. If one kid is brilliant academically, do not push the other child to study at par. The mental pace of each individual is different. Let them learn from each other in their own good way and reduce sibling rivalry.
Elder and Younger – The young ones are pampered the most, but shouldn’t be done in excess for the elder one grows up early because of an oblivious maturity expected out of him/her. In the similar fashion, teach your younger child to respect the elder sibling and also work on how to bond respect mutually. Let the elder one have a command on only his or her life, not on the younger one. Let them worry for the younger sibling but do not let them take responsibilities very often. Maintain a healthy balance, let them share a space where love and compassion rises gradually while even a little bit feel of being bossy or slavery disappears.
Social Behavior – Have you been scolding your children in public? Or have you out of conscience praised one child over the other at several social occasions or made comparisons? This could be the reason why one sibling feels cheated, impartial and angry all the time at home. These parental mistakes make your children feel low in public, have an inferior personality and become rebels. Keep in mind to be equal in public and discuss family fights only when home.
Recognize an irritable child and figure out the reasons of sudden increase in sibling rivalry. The solutions are hidden mostly within.