Sibling Rivalry, and Our Thoughts About it.
In homes with multiple children, fighting between siblings is a common occurrence. Parents often go to their first instinct which is to prevent it. For my thoughts about sibling rivalry, I have a different approach. Before you read further, understand that every household is different. Our approach is based off of research as well as real world experience. We have three children, all ages 5 or under. They are still developing their personalities. With that being said, the major contributor to my thoughts on sibling rivalry is grace.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
For starters, take a look at this article’s feature picture. We captioned it, “May I have this dance?” On social media it looked adorable. Two sisters danced and played make-believe. Meanwhile, their heroic older brother, gazed from the background. It was lovely and it was cute… But it was not real.
Unfortunately, I have to tell the truth of this picture. Our middle child was actually attempting to push her little sister out of the picture. She wanted to be photographed alone. There was jealousy and competition stirring in our family’s dynamic. My middle one, she craves the limelight.
What to do when a sibling rival battle occurs.
- Take a deep breath.
- Try to change the focus.
- Use patience.
- Give each child a new task.
- Show grace, even to the offender.
So what are my thoughts about sibling rivalry?
It’s natural. I ignore (most of) the behaviors that occur during a sibling rivalry session, but make sure not to ignore the individual child. When they start bickering at each other, I know that’s my queue to work in some one on one time. I try not to add fuel to the fire by drawing attention to the fighting, unless they are hurting each other. I basically pretend I don’t know they are having a disagreement unless one uses force. If someone’s finger gets bitten, then I’m taking away privileges. You know what I’m saying?
Sibling rivalry can get intense!
I mean, I get it. Feeling out of the spotlight is why all this is happening, right? Sure, there are other common reasons for sibling rivalry such as having to share resources, age differences, or simply being tired. And that is where the truthful realizations exist. It’s not always about trying to prevent it. It’s about giving your children the right examples when dealing with it.
That is where grace comes in.
Did you know, if you reprimand a child in front of their siblings they will be more likely to act out? Imagine how you feel, being a logical adult, when someone verbally lectures you in public. Now, think of it from the view point of a child. We, as parents, have to lead. And, concurrently, there is a big difference between a leading and bossing.
Where do you stand?
Let me know your thoughts about sibling rivalry. Leave your perspectives in the comments.