It is sad to see kids fighting or quarrelling but sibling rivalry is quite common in many households. This usually happens when there is a new baby in the house or when jealousy and competition comes to the equation. Parents need to be aware of any rivalry among their siblings so they can address it immediately and minimize any negative effect it may have in their adulthood.
There are several causes of sibling rivalry. In households where there is an older child and a new born, the cause of rivalry is usually the need for attention. The same goes for situations wherein one sibling has special needs that require more attention than the other. One sibling might feel neglected whenever special attention is given to the other child. The need to compete parental attention becomes more intense when both parents also have their hands full with work. Spending quality one-on-one time with each child can help remove feelings of rivalry between siblings.
Another possible cause of rivalry is personality differences between siblings. An introvert child may not appreciate the antics of an extrovert sibling and lead to squabbles. Personality differences also play a big role when children have to share rooms or belongings. Each child would like to have his preferred design or colour chosen for the room. It would help if parents can take time to explain these differences with their children and teach the kids about negotiation and compromise.
Fairness is also an issue that could lead to sibling rivalry. When parents play favourites then jealousy will soon come to play. It is important for parents to recognize the unique and special traits of each child so they can make both siblings feel special.
The causes of sibling rivalry may be varied but the simplest way to deal with it is to make each child feel as loved and as important as the other.
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