When it comes to sibling rivalry, there is always the same issue- why does it even exist and how are parents to handle it well and stop being the referee for the continuous spat!
By Annie Ishaq
Well, here is the good news for parents-the bickering and squabbling children do during a sibling rivalry is completely normal, according to recent studies. Typically, the rivalry is a competition between siblings and doesn’t need to be dealt with—unless it causes a lot of friction.
If a parent feels like the rivalry is causing a lot of friction, it needs to be addressed. It is crucial the parent remains impartial and does not play favorites. They should also never join in on the competitive banter between the siblings. Adults who were in a difficult sibling rivalry may remember their childhood was terrible because their sibling took the attention. In the long run, this can hamper the formation of relationships later in life, according to recent research by leading doctors in the field.
To help ease a sibling rivalry, it’s important to understand the root cause of it. It’s not easy to pinpoint what causes a sibling rivalry, but a lot depends on the children’s developmental stages. As children develop, they may begin to express jealousy for their siblings to communicate their needs to you. Parents typically give younger children more attention—especially when they’re newborns. As the attention shifts from the older to the younger child, a sibling rivalry can start to take shape. That’s when it’s time for the parents to listen. Find out what the child feeling neglected is trying to communicate. Then, set time to spend with them to address their needs..
How can sibling rivalry be good?
In many aspects of life, putting your skill up against another is a great way to improve. Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams are a prime example. They have competed against each other at least 30 times as professionals and, between the two of them, have been ranked number 1 in the world for more than 300 weeks since 2002.
Spur them on to teach others. Spin it positively to get them working together. As an example, if one child is not as good at drawing as their sibling, have the one who is better teach the other some drawing techniques. Teach them to encourage each other. A healthy sibling rivalry can help children achieve greater heights. It can teach communication skills and relationship skills. She also believes not all competition is negative—only when it is taken too far, and parents don’t recognize it. Above all, it starts with the parent. Not only should they never play favorites or join in on any of the competitive banter, but they should also teach the children to love each other unconditionally. It will make it easier for them to deal with the sibling’s successes.