Managing Sibling Rivalry
It is human nature to feel competitive and envious toward others. A moderate spirit of competition is a positive and productive attribute in school and in business. Sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up in families. The competition between siblings starts when the second child is born. Unfortunately, many parents ignore it and some even make the situation worse.
When occasional fighting becomes a constant series of arguments and fights, it must be dealt with to avoid years of discord and even potential danger. Here are some tips that will help you lessen your frustration over argumentative brothers and sisters and help them learn to get along better.
Do your best to offer each of your children equal amounts of praise and attention. This is true if they are competing for your attention or if they are participating in a school or sports activity.
Encourage your children to participate in activities that they truly enjoy. Don't expect them to always join activities that they must do together or where they will be competing against each other.
Children sometimes perceive that their parents favor one child over the others. While some parents do prefer one child to the others, it is usually not a conscious choice. If your child tells you that you favor his or her sibling, pay attention to your behavior; maybe there is some truth to it. However, if you know you are being fair or if there is a valid reason for treating one child differently, stand firm. Sometimes children use the "favorite child" complaint as a way to make you feel guilty and give them what they want.
Sometimes one child is more cooperative or better behaved than another. It's normal to compare siblings, but it's generally better not to talk about it. Comparing two kids doesn't help improve their behavior; instead, it intensifies the sense of envy and jealousy. A more constructive strategy is to limit your comments to the problem behavior. Always avoid telling one child that his or her sibling does something better.
Make it a rule that family members may become involved in incidents between siblings only if they actually saw what happened. This keeps people from being manipulated.
Realize that younger children can be the aggressors. Don't automatically rush to their defense.
If two kids are fighting over a toy, take it away. This discourages them from arguing over who can play with what.
When two kids are fighting, make them share a chair and look at each other in a mirror. With all the goofy faces they make in the mirror the disagreement is soon forgotten and they are laughing like best friends.
If the kids continue the fight after a few minutes in the chair, assign them a chore to do. The excess energy they are directing toward each other is soon put to better use setting the table or picking up the toys.
Use the Active Listening technique to allow siblings to express their feelings. When kids fight, parents often try to talk children out of their feelings by saying things like "Stop arguing with Tony, Sarah. You know you love your brother." Instead, you could acknowledge the child's feelings by saying, "Sounds like you're pretty upset with Tony." You might be surprised to see that this defuses the emotion and enables Tony to move on to something else.
When you give things to children, base your choices on their individual needs and interests. If you try to avoid arguments by giving equal gifts to each child, they will inevitably find something about them that is unfair.
When your children are in an argument, avoid taking sides. If you can, encourage them to work out their differences. It is almost impossible to try to determine who started a fight. Even if you know who started the argument, taking sides only makes things worse. If your children learn that you will not enter their minor disagreements, they will have to learn to settle things between themselves.
Take a parent education instructor course. As you educate yourself about parenting, you will change some of your attitudes toward your children and learn new ways to interact with them. You can have the kind of family you want if you are willing to work at it, make some changes in your own behavior, and be patient for things to improve.
You may think that rivalry will stop magically if only you learn to do the right thing. However, learning new behaviors takes a lot of time and persistence.
It is important to address the issues of sibling rivalry when children are young, because it can intensify and persist as children become adults. It is important not to give up when you feel frustrated. Things may even seem like they are worse before they start to improve. Because of your efforts and persistence, your children will learn how to get along better. That will prepare them to have productive relationships in the future.
Garrett Coan is a professional therapist,coach and psychotherapist. His two Northern New Jersey office locations are accessible to individuals who reside in Bergen County, Essex County, Passaic County, Rockland County, and Manhattan. He offers online and telephone coaching and counseling services for those who live at a distance. He can be accessed through http://www.creativecounselors.com or 201-303-4303.
Saving Money on Preschool: Readiness Skills Needed for Kindergarten
As a mom of 4 who's youngest child is about to start Kindergarten this Fall, I'd like to share with you some things I've learned about Preschool over the last ten years, along with a list of readiness skills every child can be learning at home - whether attending Preschool or not.Preschools, especially those taught in a church environment, are a wonderful resource that help prepare children for regular school.
Role Models for Your Teen
By the time your children reach their teens, there is only a limited amount of time left to influence them and get them started in life in the right direction.The teen years are a critical time for role models in your children's lives.
ADHD: A Dialogue With a Non-Believer, Part Five
Dear Sir, It was with some interest that I read the article What You Should Know About Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward W. after having it handed to me by a member of our church.
Missing The Bus
As a step daughter and step grand daughter, I followed the examples that were set for me years before when I became a step parent. The way my stepson finally came to love and respect me as his step mother, was through all of the "trying" experiences we had.
Mothers Day Tribute
As Mother's Day approaches I would like to give a different perspective to ponder.Being a parent and a mother are not necessarily the same.
10 keys to Developing Your Childs Genius
Would you like your child to be the best that he can be - to achieve his maximum potential? Imagine how successful your child can be with a brilliant mind, lightening fast learning skills, an accurate, lasting memory, creativity and problem solving skills of a genius. Here are 10 keys to developing your child's genius.
Top 20+ Reasons to Pay your Kid an Allowance
1. They can make mistakes under your guidance2.
How Public Schools Assault Parents Values
Is there anything wrong with lying, cheating, stealing, shop-lifting, taking drugs, premarital sex, insulting your parents, pornography, irresponsibility, or getting pregnant in junior high school? Not according to the values taught to children in many public schools today.From the earliest times in America, teachers have believed that schools should teach moral values.
Raising a Self-Sufficient Teen
Teens don't learn responsibility overnight. If you haven't been working with your teen on gradually giving them a sense of independence and ownership of their lives, then you're going to have your work cut out for you.
No, No, No -- What Else is a Parent to Say?
The word no is probably the most overused word in the English language. I speak from experience since I myself use it frequently.
13 Ways to Spend Time with Your Teenage Daughter
The older my daughter gets the more it's sinking in that I don't have much time left to spend with her! She's turning 16 in a couple of months, and I know I won't be seeing her much after she gets her driver's license.It's hard to find things to do with your teenage daughter.
Every week I write something about the stock market - how to, when to and where to put your money and how to protect it from loss if you do. This week I want to say something very important to the young folks about success.
The ABCs of Raising Twins
As a mother of two sets of fraternal boy/girl twins, I am often asked, "How do you do it?" I do not have an answer. I am just a regular 27 year old who has never known it any other way.
Why Wont My Teens Clean Their Room?
Have you ever had this struggle with your teens? Did you get to the results that you were looking for? Did moving toward those results create an unexpected rift between you and your teen? Parents complain to me that when their teens won't do their chores and, as a result, they punish their teens, there is conflict and a damaged relationship. Parents say that they don't want their relationship with their teens to suffer.
There's a phrase that's become popular over the past few years that fills me with wonder. That phrase is "quality time.
Planning the Ultimate Kid Birthday Party
Child Party Planning Guideline #1)Pick the ThemeYour child is going to look forward to their birthday months before it arrives. Starting from their last birthday and after every friend's birthday they attend through the year, they will continuously ask the same question, "Is it my birthday tomorrow?" Let them know how important their birthday is and make sure they are apart of the planning process.
Confident Kids : Why Some Parents Should Carry a Health Warning
As a hypnotherapist, I am acutely aware of the power of words. A few well-chosen words can induce hypnosis and help my clients with a wide range of problems.
Let Your Children Name the New Baby
Choosing a baby name is an important job, so make your children feel important by letting them help you name the new baby. After all, you're not the only one who's having a baby - your whole family is ! Use the process of naming the baby as an opportunity to get your other children involved in and excited about their new brother or sister, and make the process fun.
From Go Fast Kids to Calm Kids
How excited do kids get with the start of school approaching? Getting kids to go from the freedom of school holidays to move to that place of being settled and ready for school can be a challenge for some parents. Many children now days are identified as being ADD and ADHD I call these kids "go fasts" and the transition from holidays to school can be a bit more of a challenge for these kids.
Why Me?"We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count." --Neil MaxwellYesterday morning, my family and I got up at 5:30am in Mexico to begin our journey home from a holiday retreat.
|home | site map|