The closer your children are in age, the more likely they will have conflict between them.
Whether it’s a fight over who does certain chores or who gets to choose the movie they watch first, these little tiffs are all a part of the growing up process. Conflict can be a healthy way to develop communication skills but there comes a point when these minor clashes spiral out of control and the tone of their relationship suffers.
If your children are beginning to seem like rivals more than brother and sister, there are some steps you can take early on.
1. Hold both children accountable
Sometimes defining the lines between “who started it” may be difficult, but it’s always clear that neither children ended it. Holding them both responsible during altercations actually allows siblings to view each other as a team and prompts them to encourage good behavior from each other. Unless someone is being an outright bully, teach your children to resolve their conflicts together instead of apart.
2. Avoid neglect and comparisons
When a new child is added to your family, sometimes older siblings begin to feel neglected or overshadowed. If you aren’t careful, resentment can develop in your older children very early. This can be the beginning of a long line of anger if you don’t teach your children to coexist peacefully and make each of them feel important.
When parents compare the behavior of one sibling to that of another, this can trigger resentment too. Be mindful of your words and how you distribute your attention from the very beginning.
3. Acknowledge their feelings
These quarrels may seem trivial to you as an adult, but your child’s meltdown is kind of big deal for them. Instead of dismissing their feelings, take a moment to really engage and understand how and why they feel the way they do. Sometimes people, not just children, need to know that their feelings are validated and important. Only after digging into the real root of the issue should you work toward resolving it.
4. Encourage early interaction
It’s easy for us to not trust our toddlers with the baby at first, but it’s important to encourage healthy interaction between your children as early as you can. Make sure your older children feel involved with your younger children so that they may develop a bond to care for one another rather than compete with one another. As your children grow older they will undoubtedly develop separate interests so it’s a great idea to introduce activities they can mutually enjoy from an early age.
Are there any tips that have helped you nip sibling rivalry in the bud? We’d love to hear from you. Share your tips with us on our Facebook page.
Written by Dr. Nina Farzin, Inventor of oogiebear
Nina is a wife, mother and career professional who never intended to start her own business. When her children were newborns, she ached to ease the discomfort from dry, stubborn, crusty mucus (boogers)! As a doctor, she knew there were no safe solutions on the market to help her kids, so she invented oogiebear, a revolutionary booger removal tool that helps babies breathe easier.
Nina graduated Howard University where she earned her doctorate in Pharmacy (R.Ph, Pharm.D). She is a Registered Pharmacist in Washington DC, Maryland and New York. Nina and her family are fitness enthusiasts who enjoy outdoor activities and healthy eating.
Note: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and not to give professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor about any questions you may have regarding your child’s health and before following any of the suggestions in this post.