In families with more than one child, sibling rivalry is commonplace. At the outset, you just see two kids fighting, however on looking beneath the surface of things, you’ll realize the riposte feeling that is at the core of sibling rivalry in children.
Expression of retaliatory behaviour by the submissive one to counteract the sense of constantly being the victim of the dominant other, is what breeds sibling fights. This repugnant behaviour, clubbed with the feeling that he is loved less by his parents intensifies his pathos.
Nonetheless, for parents it is one of the biggest parenting struggles to sort. But it is upon them to turn the conflict scenarios into training opportunities. Parents should repeatedly teach their children to honour and speak well of one another.
When asked if parents should intervene in resolving sibling rivalry, one of our SOS Moms, Robe Samarth Gaonkar suggested, “Of course you should intervene and never let the time pass by without them consoling each other. It’s just normal fights in the beginning, but if you don’t correct them on time, then it will be worse once they are older.”
We agree with Robe on this and feel that parents should help their kids sort the fights by making them understand the art of managing their emotions. Otherwise, the mutual ill feelings will get carried over into their adult lives and become even more crippling to deal with later on.
3 Suggestions for Parents when Managing Sibling Rivalry
- When you intervene, you should hold both the kids equally responsible for the fight. It shouldn’t matter as to who started it or whose fault it is. After all, it always takes two to tango; a fight is never a one-sided affair, so stop refereeing.
- Use the ‘step in to step out’ method. Help your kids to identify their feelings at the moment of a fight (step in) and then leave them and let them work out a solution between themselves (step out). This is because, there will be times when kids would resolve the conflict in their own way and only need us to set up the navigation just a bit.
- Appreciate both the kids in their individual domains. Never pitch them up against one another. If one is good in sports and the other is a bookworm, recognize and appreciate their individuality.
Follow these few simple strategies, as you work with your kids to manage sibling rivalry and pioneer a peace treaty in your home today.