Siblings are usually each other’s firsts. They are their first friends and even their first enemies. As they grow together, they are also bound to compete. It is something inevitable. Humans are destined to survive just like siblings are constantly trying to outdo one another for their parents’ attention and approval. As sibling rivalry is understandable, it is something painful for the parents.
PSST.ph details a few ways to handle competition among siblings.
Each child has his own personality. Do not look one’s character into the other. Avoid showing favoritism as well because this may prompt jealousy and hatred. It may also lead one to feel superior while the other heals his resentment in silence.
Find the cause
As a parent, let both of your children say their piece. It is prudent to talk it through. As they go through the story, you will then be able to identify the cause of the feud. They may tell the story in front of each other or you may opt to connect with each child individually. Either way, do not show you are taking sides. What is important for the child to feel is that he is heard, accepted, and understood.
Set up a peace table
After hearing each other’s story, gather your children and set up a peace table. It is proper that they resolve their issues right away. Facilitate a mutually agreed solution, and again, do not take sides.
If the conflict is something too delicate, perhaps you can give them time to realize the weight of their actions. In time, for sure, they will be the ones to make amends.
Encourage to articulate their thoughts
As a parent, it is prudent that you let them realize that their feelings of frustration, anger or excitement are valid. That it is fine to articulate them and let the other person know his feelings. Just remind your youngster, though, to be careful in expressing his thoughts through words and actions.
Address the present issue
To aim for peace, talk about the present issue only. Do not drag past grievances. Everyone will just end up repeating past stories, re-igniting the trauma or the pain, and re-directing everything to hatred. Ideally, resolve each fight immediately so everyone can move on and no issues will be dragged if a new conflict arises.
Soothing Sibling Rivalry
Even in a close relationship, occasional tensions among siblings are bound to arise. It is important that as a parent, you try to listen to each kid. Mediate or encourage them to resolve their conflict among themselves.
It is also prudent that you acknowledge your children’s feelings and let them realize that it is okay to feel negative emotions. Everyone goes through tough times and resentment even. But they have to realize that at the end of the day, they have a family they can turn to come what may, so they have to be more loving, forgiving, and understanding to each other.