How Do I Handle Sibling Rivalry?

Here are the Top 10 Tips for handling sibling rivalry:
two children holding hands

  1. If you have more than one child, expect sibling rivalry.
  2. Focus on the good things about having siblings.
  3. Teach your children that fair does not mean equal.
  4. Do not favor one child.
  5. Spend one-on-one time with each child.
  6. View each child as an individual. Do not compare.
  7. Teach skills to settle conflicts peacefully.
  8. Treat others how you want your children to treat each other.
  9. Only get involved in sibling problems when someone may get hurt.
  10. Have a home that values respect and understanding.

Before having more than one child, you may have expected your kids to be good friends and play together. While there may be more bickering than you imagined, siblings learn many lessons from one another, such as:

  • how to stand up for themselves,
  • that other people have wants and needs,
  • and how to get along with others.

Children often complain that they aren’t getting their “fair share.” What they most want is your attention. You can’t split your time equally among each child, but you can do your best to meet each one’s needs.

While listening to the fighting can be exhausting, it is worth the effort to teach your children how to handle it well. After all, sibling relationships are often the longest lasting in a person’s life.
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