Sibling Rivalry in Kids – How To Tackle


Sibling rivalry is a common thing that most parents complain about their kids. While sometimes parents can handle the issues of rivalry. But at times, the rivalry goes out of control and that’s when parents find it difficult to handle the situation.

It is very hard for parents to actually watch their kids quarreling with each other and the worst part is that they cannot take the side of either one of them. The constant quarrel among siblings makes the household a stressful place to live in. More often, sibling rivalry can start even before your second child is born. This is when your first child can feel that the focus and attention is shifting from him or her to the unborn child.

Sibling Rivalry in Kids How To Tackle
Sibling Rivalry in Kids How To Tackle

Also, most sibling rivalry begins at home when one child perceives more attention is being given to his or her sibling. Probably, that’s when the rivalry begins. But, in reality most parents love all their children equally. Now the question about how to convince your children that it is not so, arrives.

Well, here are few tips that might help you in dealing with sibling rivalry between your children.

Sibling Rivalry in Kids – How To Tackle

Start early: It is better to inform your elder child or children about the arrival of the newest member in your family. Say that the new member is their brother or sister and she needs to be taken care of by mommy most of the time. Also say that he or she will be very small, cute and cuddly. The better mommy takes care of the baby, the sooner will be the baby able to play with you. When you say such words, your child or children would start loving their sibling even before one’s born.

Make your elder child responsible: Most kids love to be acknowledged by their parents about their growth. Now, use this for something good. When siblings are growing up, allocate the responsibility of taking care of the younger one to the elder child and say that you expect good behavior from him or her. Also, tell the younger child to obey the elder sibling’s words. In this way, you establish a simple hierarchy of responsibility.

Reward your children: This is an important area to inculcate good behavior in your kids. Reward them for good behavior, discipline and most importantly for keeping the home noise-free. Rewarding your kids for their good behavior and manners encourages them to behave better. It is also important to include restitution for bad behavior. You need to teach them that neither of your children will get away for bad doing.

Allocation of attention: Some sibling rivalries can arise because both or either parent’s attention is on one child. This can cause issues with other child or children. If at all, such a situation arises, make sure to talk to your kids about the need for sparing all the attention on just one kid. First apologize to those kids because, from their point of view it is wrong. After that, you can explain to them in simple words, as in like your brother or sister has health problems or difficulty learning or some problem which needs more attention.

Teach them about the importance of compromising: As parents, it must’ve been very hard to focus your attention on two or more kids at once. You definitely must have made many sacrifices and compromises to get there. It is also important to teach your children, when they’re old enough, about how to compromise and negotiate. This is a very important lesson your kids will ever learn and practice in life. It’s not supposed to mean that compromising is great, but nevertheless, it has an important role in life. If there’s just one gaming console and both your kids are fighting for it. Ask them to make a mutually agreeable schedule according to which each kid gets to play for a certain period of time and that too after completing their studies.

Spend quality time together as family: Spending time together as family is very important. Its not just about taking a break from the usual things that we do. But, it is also the time to reinforce family ties. Whether it is playing together, watching movies, going on a vacation, camping, trekking, whatever it might be, both the parents can involve and ease tensions between the kids. You could play some board games with your quarreling kids on one team and you and your spouse in another team. At first they’ll contradict each other, but after few games, they’ll realize that in order to win, they need to work together, acknowledge each other and respect each other’s opinions.