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5 ways to resolve sibling rivalry

Sibling rivalry is a common phenomenon, especially in households with more than one child. It occurs when siblings compete for their parent’s attention, resources, and power in the family. This can manifest in many different ways, from physical aggression to verbal bickering. In some cases, the competition may even be more subtle, such as one sibling trying to outdo the other in grades or other extracurricular activities.



Sibling rivalry is a common phenomenon, especially in households with more than one child. It occurs when siblings compete for their parent’s attention, resources, and power in the family. This can manifest in many different ways, from physical aggression to verbal bickering. In some cases, the competition may even be more subtle, such as one sibling trying to outdo the other in grades or other extracurricular activities.


At the root of sibling rivalry is usually a feeling of insecurity or jealousy. Siblings may be envious of each other’s successes or feel neglected in comparison. This can lead to negative emotions like resentment and bitterness. In extreme cases, it can even lead to violence or psychological abuse.


While sibling rivalry is a natural part of growing up, it’s important to recognize when the competition is becoming unhealthy. Parents can help by setting and enforcing clear boundaries and consequences, encouraging positive behavior, and giving equal attention to each child. It’s also important to help siblings address any underlying issues, such as jealousy or insecurity.


Here are 5 tips to help you navigate sibling rivalry


Tip #1 – Stop comparing your children


Instead, promote individuality and foster a sense of uniqueness. Encourage each child to explore their own interests and talents. By recognizing and appreciating their individuality, you can help reduce the need for comparison and competition.


Tip #2 - Spend quality one-on-one time with each child


Dedicate individual time to each child, engaging in activities they enjoy. This helps strengthen the parent-child bond and makes each child feel valued and loved. In the long-run one-on-one time reduces the need for attention-seeking behaviours and unhealthy competition.



Tip #3 - Encourage shared responsibilities


Assign age-appropriate tasks and responsibilities to each child. Encourage your children to work together and rely on each other. This can foster a sense of cooperation and teamwork. Even when things do not go according to plan, encourage them to support one another and seek a solution as a team.


Tip #4 - Foster positive communication


Encourage open and honest communication among siblings. Teach them to express their needs, concerns, and emotions in a respectful manner. Set clear expectations for how they should communicate with each other, emphasizing the importance of empathy and understanding.


Tip #5 - Be a role model


Model positive behaviors and conflict resolution skills within the family. Your children observe and learn from your actions, so demonstrate respectful communication, compromise, and empathy in your interactions with them and others.




Sibling rivalry can certainly be a tricky thing to navigate, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to help make it a positive experience for your children. We’re here to help you do just that!

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