Are You Throwing Fire On The Flames Of Sibling Rivalry?

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As a parent, the chances are that the words ‘sibling rivalry’ send a chill down your spine. Constant bickering, crying, and falling out isn’t what you imagined when you planned for that second child.

Sadly, this is a reality parents too-often face. Hence why you likely go above and beyond to remove rivalries wherever you can. From buying identical toys to investing in whole of life insurance to ensure your kids always get the same, you’ve done it all. Still, you may be facilitating sibling rivalries in ways you aren’t necessarily aware of.

That’s why, if you want a quiet home and a happy sibling relationship at last, you should think long and hard about whether you’re making these mistakes.

Highlighting sibling differences

Every child is unique, and you’ll want to praise your children for their skill sets, passions, etc. But, there’s a thin line between praise and rubbing your other child’s nose in what they don’t have. Working around this is tricky, but there are ways to get the balance right. Something like printing an imagined award for one child when the other does well at school could help. Equally, avoid focusing on activities that you know one child is good at if the other struggles. That way, you stand a much better chance at creating an even playing field of sibling love.

Taking one sibling’s word over the other

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Try as you might, you aren’t super mum, and you can’t always be present when sibling arguments kick-off. As such, you’re left with a quick-fire judgement call about who’s in the wrong. Both kids will, of course, have their accusations, and you’ll likely have a hunch over who did what. But, it’s important to remember that, if you didn’t see it, you must punish both kids equally. By taking sides, you’re making it look like you’re trusting one kid over the other. And, few things cause rivalry to flare as much as apparent favouritism like this.

Forgetting the importance of one-on-one time

It’s also easy to forget to spend one-on-one time with kids when you have two or more to manage. Just like that, every activity you embark on is likely a group affair. And, understandably, this can lead to rivalry as each child forever attempts to catch your attention and enjoy the limelight. Remove that risk by focusing on one-on-one time with each child in turn. Make sure, too, that you share this responsibility with your partner so that, while you’re in the kitchen sharing quality baking time with one child, their sibling(s) get to enjoy a sole focus on their own. Then, you can switch things up next week for even attention that give both kids the time they crave without pitting them against each other.

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Admittedly, it’s not always possible to remove sibling rivalry altogether. Arguments arise, and comparisons can be inevitable. But, as you can see, there are plenty of steps you can take to at least make things more peaceful some of the time.

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