The Inevitable Sibling Rivalry
Is everything in your house a competition? Are your children constantly trying to outdo one another? Sibling rivalry is a very normal thing amongst siblings, but its painful for parents nonetheless! Sibling rivalry is understandable. Each sibling wants the number one prize, mom and dad’s attention. As parents though, there are actions that you can take that can minimize the competition and make everyone in your home a winner:
Don’t Play the Blame Game: If your children get an argument, don’t sit down and hash out which child was right and which child was wrong. Nobody wins there. They’re going to want to get you on their side but it’s important that you stay neutral. Remember, as a parent, you are the referee. You’re not there to pick a winning side. You are there to facilitate a happy environment and make sure everyone plays nicely. The best thing that you can do in this situation is to encourage your children to calmly work the problem out themselves.
Beware of Making One Child the Tutor: Each of your children might excel in different areas. One of your kids might be better at math and the other might be better at writing. It is very important that you don’t assign your child that is thriving in one particular area to tutor your other child that happens to be struggling in that same area. By doing that, you are creating immediate sibling rivalry and giving the child that has taken on the role of the tutor an upper hand over his sibling. We want to avoid that. If one of your children is having trouble in a certain subject, do everyone in your house a favor and hire an actual tutor. Do not enlist another child for the job!
Stress the Importance of Teamwork: Giving your children a task to work on together, whether it be helping you put the groceries away or planning a surprise party for your spouse, will show them how great it is when they are on the same team! By working on something together, coming up with ideas and solving problems as a team, your children will become closer and will realize that it’s much more fun to have your sibling as a teammate than as a competitor. Make sure you praise them for their great teamwork so that they will continue to want to be on the same team!