Monday, December 3, 2012

Preventing Sibling Rivalry

If you have more than one child then you are already aware of the challenges raising multiple children can bring. In some families, the kids do not exactly get along very well. Preventing sibling rivalry takes some patience, but it can certainly be accomplished.

First, you must understand why the two or more children do not have any lost love between them. If they are very close in age, they may just be somewhat similar and feel as if they butt heads. Generally speaking, most families that have these issue have it with the siblings that are the closest in age, as one child that is thirteen may not have anything to fight about with a two year old. Sit down and talk to them together. Ask them why they keep getting into it and how it makes the other one feel.

Some will actually tell you about an incident or times when they feel the other child is hurting them emotionally, in some cases even physically. Those situations can usually be fixed rather quickly it is usually over something very small and kids can forgive and forget. Begin to show them what they are missing out on by not being close to one another. The fun activities they can be doing together and how they really have a built in best friend right at home. Explain how lucky they are that some children do not have any siblings to share things like holidays and fun summer vacations with. Have them provide qualities they like or admire about the other child and grow their relationship from there. Give them a common interest if they figure one out on their own.

Some parents reward their kids for not fighting or arguing and that can work as well. Depending on the ages of the kids, they can easily just grow out of it. For those special cases that just do not get along for years, it is best to have someone else step in and help treat their sibling rivalry situation. A weekly session with a children's therapist may be all they needed. A third party can sometimes be a very strong voice of reason and they can confide in that person with any thoughts they may not be comfortable with talking to you about.

If you have two older children that are always at each other's throats as well as littler ones, you need to have them set aside their differences and get on with it. That can be a horrible example for the younger ones to observe. The sooner you can nip it in the bud, the better off you all will be. This can be repaired, you may just need to be slightly creative about it and always encourage your kids to care for one another.


  1. I tell my kids there are going to be plenty of people in life that aren't going to like you or will be against you, but something you should always be able to count on is your blood. If they pull that crap of fighting in public though, lol I make them hold hands. It usually stops the arguing in its tracks.

  2. I only have one child; but, I was not an only child and I am familiar with this sibling rivalry.