Updated 08 September 2014

How to deal with sibling rivalry

Are your children fighting all the time? Do they accuse you of favouritism? Here are some tips on dealing with sibling rivalry.

Sibling rivalry can drive parents insane and can be very damaging to the self-esteems and confidence of your children. Fortunately it can be dealt with. Here's how:

1. Avoid comparing one child with another
2. Watch out for favouritism
3. Give each child individual time
4. Encourage separate experience for your children with regard to friends, activities etc.
5. If one child requires more of your time and attention, compensate for this with your other children.
6. Act quickly if you see a pattern of conflict developing between two of your children.
7. Try to ignore bickering, squabbles or disagreements. Let your children learn to work these out themselves. If you need to intervene then:
       - Discipline both children rather than only one of them – it takes two to fight
       - Never ask, “who started?” – both are responsible
       - Never expect an older child to act in a more mature fashion than a younger child during conflict
       - You may need to separate the two children using the ‘time out’ principle

8. Repeated patterns of hostility, aggression, teasing and anger must be treated seriously
9. Children must be protected from all forms of physical and psychological abuse by one another

Read more:
Parents as happy as least happy child
Loving siblings fight depression
Your home is clean but is it healthy?

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