Sibling rivalry can be stressful, but it’s a natural part of growing up with brothers and sisters. Parents may feel helpless, but there are ways to ease tension between siblings. Here are some techniques you can use to help minimize sibling rivalry:
- Keep Some Things Personal – Not everything needs to be shared by siblings. Ensure that each child has a few toys that only belong to him. Make sure your children know that the rest of the toys are communal and are expected to be shared. The same applies to space. Set aside areas for each child as their personal space where they can keep their own belongings.
- Avoid Comparisons – Try to avoid comparing your children to each other, or pointing out their differences in front of them. Sibling rivalry is a type of competition. Children can interpret comparisons as criticism and begin to feel that they are not as good as their siblings. This can breed jealousy and resentment. Instead of comparing your children, each child should be given individual goals and a level of expectation that relates only to him or her personally.
- Let Them Work It Out – Most of the time its best to let siblings settle their own differences. However, if one or both siblings is a toddler or preschooler, and the argument is unequal, you might have to step in and mediate. An example of an unequal argument is when an older sibling uses bigger words or physical strength to unfairly fight with their younger sibling. In this case, you should protect the younger sibling.
While at preschool, classmates often relate to each other more like siblings, and similar rivalries can ensue. At Carpe Diem Private Preschool, we strive to create a nurturing environment where children build healthy friendships and learn to interact and solve problems together. And we are thrilled that many parents trust the care of multiple siblings to us! Parents and teachers can try these simple techniques to help siblings and friends develop stronger relationships. As they often say, friends may come and go, but siblings are forever!