sibling rivalry

Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry is a type of competition or animosity among siblings which becomes very difficult for parents to handle. The animosity if not taken care of in childhood, leads to extreme negativity and fighting as adults.

While every brother-sister or brother-brother fight, competition to such an extent is not healthy as it creates a negative self-image in one of them.

Here are 20 ways to help that your child battle sibling rivalry -

1. Make friends before birth. Get your older child acquainted with the new baby before birth.
Let him/her pat the baby beneath the bulge, talk to baby, and feel baby kick.

2. Make the older sibling feel important.
visitors will normally bring gifts for the new born baby. In this case keep a few small gifts in reserve for the older one.
Let him/her be the one to unwrap the baby gifts and test the rattles.
Give your child a job in the family organization. Make him feel important in regard to the baby.

3. Time share. What bothers children most is sharing you with the new baby. Since the concept of sharing is foreign to the child, so spend time with the child. give him importance.

4. Stay positive. Promoting sibling harmony requires a bit of parental marketing. You may think that your older child should be thrilled to have gained a live-in friend, but children are often preoccupied with what they've lost. They're not so keen on sharing their toys, their room, and most importantly, their parents with someone else. Turn this around to help the normally egocentric child to imagine, "what's in it for me?"

5. Begin the day in harmony.

6. increase sensitivity.-  It's hard to hate and hit a person you care about and who cares about you.  You can nurture patterns of life-long friendship among your children by helping them find constructive ways to be sensitive to each other.
making the older one in charge.
making him a comforter.
making him a teacher.

7. Set limits.  The children have to learn that the limits have been reached and more socially-acceptable behavior must follow.

8. Hold family meetings.

9. Humor is the best medicine. Humor the child into reality.

10. introduce team spirit. - family trips, sundays, shopping, all help to introduce team spirit.

11. Promote empathy.

12. Promote gender sensitivity.

13. Children do not have to be treated equally. While children are created equally, it's impossible to treat them that way all the time. In their desire to prevent sibling squabbles, parents strive to do everything the same way for all their children, whether it's buying pajamas or selecting a chocolate. Children aren't the same.. you don't need to behave as if they were.
Make moment-by-moment decisions.

14. Every child is a favorite. It's unrealistic for parents to claim they never play favorites. Some parents' and some childrens' personalities clash..Some children bring out the best in their parents, others push the wrong buttons. The key is to not let your children perceive this as favoritism.

15. Minimize comparisons. This is also the basis for feelings of inferiority, which encourages undesirable behavior among siblings. Praise your child for accomplishments in relation to herself and not in comparison to a sibling.

16. Referee quarrels.

17. Listen to both sides.

18. Round table talk. Promote speaking the truth.. have the children face to face when you talk about an issue.

19. When in doubt, intervene. Seek professional help. You may hear the social myth, "Oh, they'll just grow out of it!" Both experience and research has shown that without parental guidance, siblings with bad relationships are likely to grow into adults with bad relationships.
The more they are allowed to fight as kids, the more likely they are to fight as adults.
Being complacent and concluding that the childhood relationship will naturally grow from sour to sweet is being naïve.

20. Promote love - movies, posters, quotes that promote sibling love should be shown to all the children.
India is blessed with a festival like raksha bandhan, that promotes brother-sister love... use birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions to promote love.

for further details, feel free to contact me at,
Dr.Hemant Mittal
email -

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