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How To Deal With Sibling Rivalry

Dec 29, 2007
The issues of sibling rivalry are as old as time. We hear about it as early as the book of Genesis to the story of Cain and Abel. Even our famous fairytales narrate their fair share of sibling rivalry like Cinderella and her haughty stepsisters, Anastasia & Drizella. As much as you would like to believe that sisters and brothers should be well attuned, like-minded and go well together since they share the same blood and genes from their parents, they have their own individual personalities that are distinct and unique from one another. And these differences could very well spell the reasons for the rivalry and enmity that these siblings may feel towards each other at one time or another.

The good thing to know is that sibling rivalry may be common but the hostility does not really lasts that long, perhaps just for that particular age, growth phase or on certain occasions. What is essentially the biggest consideration is the attitude of the parents toward the said rivalry.

It is vital that parents are impartial and fair when it comes to raising their children. This may be easier said than done for some parents as it is bound to happen that the parent's relationship with each child will differ according to the age, the personality, the needs, the disposition, and the interactions that the mom or the dad has with the kid. It is to be expected that in some families one kid may be given more attention than the other. As difficult as it may seem, parents should always keep in mind that how they treat their children affects the latter's perspective and so they must do well to be equally just and evenhanded in making their calls and judgments. Noted below are a few tips and advises on how to go about impartiality and reasonableness in dealing with your children.

To reiterate, each one of us is unique and distinctive, so it follows that as much as possible we should not make comparisons as such would be futile and can even be destructive. It is extremely vital that we keep in mind this fact especially when we are dealing with our children. Being measured up to a sister or a brother who does better in other factors that a child is not so very good with can raise resentment issues in the latter.

The best thing for parents to do is to establish different expectations for each child. If your eldest daughter is the star in the school's ballet program, please do not force the younger sister to perform just as well. Recognize each child's individuality and distinguishing potential. You might discover that although she may not be able to master that pirouette, she could very well be a great artist with a blissfully wonderful singing voice.

As much as possible, let your children settle their own arguments. This may seem irrational and awkward for some but it does work. Your role as parents should be that of a mediator or an impartial judge. Give them time to talk to and express their resentments. It would be better for both sides to know and understand why the argument came to be and how the other got hurt. Knowing the facts will help you to resolve the issue, reconcile your kids and get to compromise on a course of action that would be favorable to both parties.

With this kind of arrangement, the parents are safely not taking any sides so the kids will feel that they are both supported and cared for.
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