How to deal with sibling rivalry

Sibling rivalry is a natural state of mind wherein two kids face emotions of jealousy and anger and competitiveness for each other. It is good to a certain extent, but if the situation changes in such a manner that one starts to bully the other one, then it is time to interfere and straighten things otherwise the outcome can be long lasting.

It takes two to tango

Hold both kids responsible because a sibling rivalry is started by one but continued by both of them together. This also prevents the feeling of biased behavior to generate in the minds of your kids and also both of them would understand that this kind of behavior will result in penalty for both, no matter what. Set some rules for them like “they would have to sleep early” or “they would be grounded for a day”, if they fight.

Bickering table

Try this and create a bickering table if you have kids who squabble with each other on daily basis. Make them sit around the table and bicker for an hour daily. Eventually you would observe that very soon the kids will take this as being penalized for doing it on daily basis and would eventually get bored of it and stop bickering. For sometime even if they stop fighting, ask them to stay at the table. That would be good to monitor the fighting rate since you started this method.

Utilise their favorite things to teach them

Don’t be a referee in your children’s fights till the time its not a bullying situation. Instead make a rule that they would lose out on their favorite activities like video games, TV, etc., if they fight. Follow this for a sustainable amount of time till this is instilled in your children that fighting will result in them losing out on their precious things. All you have to do is announce this rule when they are fighting and emphasize on the fact that they both are equally treated for their good and bad behavior.

Deal jealousy with calmness

It is natural for siblings to feel envious of each other when they see one of them performing a task and is being appreciated for it. In such a situation, you have to play calm and talk to the child who is feeling low. Point out all the good work that he has achieved in terms of his homework and chores completion. This will bring about a sense of self confidence in the minds of your kids and eventually help eradicate this feeling completely from their minds.

Common playtime

Take out time to play and talk to your children and spend quality time with both of them. Take them out to parks and engage them in activities which involve teamwork. Teach them to rely on each other for the smallest of things. This would help the trust factor to grow and a feeling of friendship to start floating across their minds for each other. Sense of friendship helps stop bickering to a great extent as your children understand the meaning of staying together and understanding each other personally. Also, it’s your responsibility to talk to them before they go off to sleep as that is the time when they might open up to you and you might be able to speak to them about their wrong notions for each other, if there is any.

Dr Prem Jagyasi and Team (C)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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