How to Avoid Sibling Rivalry
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Most siblings, whether or not they study in an international school in Manila, often encounter disagreements. It is common and healthy for them to have quarrels with one another, but if they do not learn how to work things out between themselves in a healthy, honest, and open way, then they are susceptible to long-term negative consequences, such as deeply-etched jealously and resentment for each other.
Let’s take a look at a few tips to help you prevent sibling disputes:
Introduce Older Siblings to Your New Baby
If you are having a baby or if you plan to, introduce your older children to the newest addition to the family. Show your kids photos of her growing in their mom’s belly. Allow them to pat the baby beneath the bulge and feel her kicking.
As much as possible, encourage communication between them even from this early stage.
Don’t Neglect Older Siblings
In relation to the previous point, once your baby is born, refrain from neglecting your older children. In most instances, older siblings tend to feel ignored because everyone around them is excited to meet the baby. To prevent this from happening, create an environment where they feel included. For example, let them be the ones to unwrap the gifts and be the ones to first try out the toys.
Of course, this tip is also applicable when they grow older.
When they are already doing their homework, strive to help out everyone. Keep in mind that your eldest kid needs just as much help doing her assignments as the youngest one in your family.
Teach Your Kids to Be Team Players
Preventing the outburst of fights and rivalry is the best way to promote peace and harmony. By pursuing the habit of praising your children’s positive interactions, they will acquire a greater sense of camaraderie and team dynamic.
Siblings, who feel like they are working together, will naturally defend and help each other out. One simple thing you can do is set up situations in which they could join forces as a combined unit. A few examples of these are clearing the table, making muffins, and building a fort.
Expanding Emotional Articulation
Most sibling conflicts transpire due to not knowing the most appropriate way to express their feelings, which explains why many toddlers resort to biting and hitting, and older kids impulsively bursting out statements like “I hate you.”
Not being able to mediate these types of scenarios can easily turn a minor roadblock to a long-term issue. As a solution, let your children know how important it is to talk about emotions that extend beyond “happy,” “sad,” and “angry.” Teach them new words like “annoyed,” “confused,” and “disappointed.” By doing so, you are educating them on how to properly manage their emotions.
Be a Coach, Not a Referee
When it is time for you to get involved in a dispute, it is not your job to decide who’s right or wrong. You should always act as a mediator. Make sure that your children feel free to express their ideas and that they are genuinely listening and communicating with each other.
Whether or not your kids are studying in an international school in Manila, it’s important to immediately instill a sense of teamwork and empathy in expressing their ideas and feelings to avoid the dangers of long-term sibling rivalry.
Based on the points illustrated above, the best and most effective ways to mediate sibling conflicts are to constantly guide and allow them to explore how they can work things out on their own.