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Sibling rivalry

2021-10-25 00:00:00

Written by Marloes Dingemans

Are there always fights for your attention in your house? Are they always comparing each other and does one always feel disadvantaged in relation to the other? Don't worry too much, this mutual competition is very normal and helps your child in its further development. In this blog, we will give you some tips that will help to create a good harmony at home!

Mutual rivalry
It is great if your children get along well with each other, stand up for each other and develop a friendly bond. But this is often not the daily reality and this can be quite disappointing or frustrating for you as a parent. Especially when you notice that your children see each other more as rivals than as buddies.

The reason siblings rival each other has a biological origin; there is competition for food and parental attention. To minimise this rivalry, it is important that you continue to see and approach each child as a unique individual. Give each child attention according to his/her needs and show that you love each child in his/her own unique way. There are probably also different qualities that you appreciate in your children. Therefore, highlight these without making a comparison with your other child. One child is not better than the other, they are both different.

Offer space during conflicts
Conflicts can be tiring, determine the atmosphere in the house, and hinder the relationship between siblings. Many parents therefore try to avoid conflicts as much as possible or to intervene immediately when a conflict arises. However, it is advisable to give children the space to solve their own conflicts. This is an instructive experience and may ensure that a next conflict is less likely to occur or that your children can come to a solution on their own sooner. In addition, the interference of you as a parent can sometimes only make the conflict worse. Your children see the referee coming and will both do everything in their power to win their case.

Children do not always manage to solve the conflict themselves. When you intervene, make sure that you try to listen to both children without judging them and that you try to get the communication going again, without coming up with the solution yourself. Then compliment your children on resolving their conflict together.

Read more?
Would you like to read more about sibling rivalry? Then we can definitely recommend the book: Siblings without rivalry by How2TalkToKids. In this book you will find many more practical tools for a better relationship between siblings