It is not unusual for children, especially siblings to fight one another. Fights and disagreements among siblings are called siblings rivalry. Siblings rivalry starts when a new born is added the family and the older siblings fear he will take their place as objects of their parent’s attention. It is particularly intense when children are very close in age and of the same gender or where a child is intellectually more gifted than the others. it may never be eliminated but its frequency and intensity can be reduced.
Now, what are the cause of siblings rivalry and how can parents curb it in their homes?
Favouritism or preferential treatment from parents is one of the cause of siblings rivalry. The discrimination from parents can result in a protracted hatred and friction between children.
Another cause of siblings rivalry is indulgence. Allowing children to go unpunished as some parents do today is one major cause of rivalry among children at home.
3. Undue Comparison
Undue comparison is also another cause of siblings rivalry. Each child is unique in his own way and should not be compared to others.
4. Sharing of Possession
Sharing of possessions is yet another cause of rivalry among siblings. Sometimes, limited resources int he family make siblings share things and older siblings may not want to give up their possessions, like a favourite toy or dress.
What is then the way out that we parent can do, to curb siblings rivalry in our household?
1. Prepare the mind of your older children for the arrival of a sibling.
2. Don’t discriminate among your children.
3. Don’t take sides
4. Teach your children to give and share things with others.
5. Avoid comparing your children with one another.
6. Give each child adequate attention and affection.
7. Help your children express their feelings the best way they can.
8. Help foster a team spirit among them. You can practically illustrate to them the power of unity.
9. Hold family meetings regularly
10. Set reasonable boundaries and limits for your children and ensure to mete out due punishment of these limits are exceeded
11. Above all, always pray for them.