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Dealing with Sibling Rivalry

Parents have to deal with sibling rivalry on regular basis. Children who have not learned how to deal with anger can actually inflict emotional harm on each other if their emotions are left unchecked. However, parents can help their children find more harmonious existence with each other by using consistent consequences for the bad behavior and plenty of praise for the good behavior

Do your children seem to constantly fight? Have you taken on endless role of referee? Sibling rivalry is a common, albeit often unpleasant, sight in most home. After all, your children did not have option to choose each other for brother or sister. They might have chosen their friend, but not their sibling, and somehow, they must learn to coexist together and, hopefully, form close relationship with each other.



Potential Problems- There may be several different reasons for problems and conflicts that pop up on a nearly daily basis with your children. The closeness in age of the children gender of each child can contribute to sibling rivalry. Personality differences can also affect relationship, and this is not an exception when it comes to sibling. Competition can be extremely fierce between sibling and jealousy and resentment may build as years go by. Parental attitude can play huge part in just how severe sibling rivalry can become.

Differences- Simply difference in ages can contribute to conflicts between brothers or sisters. Older siblings may use age difference to their advantage, pointing out ineptness of their younger brother or sister and emphasizing their own superiority. Differences in personality can also wreak havoc in relationship. Some children are introvert; others are extroverts Conflicts can easily arise because of a lack of understanding and tolerance between siblings.

Competition- Competition can play a big role in rivalry between brothers or sisters. If this competition persists throughout years, some children grow up feeling resentful and jealous, and this can cause rift between siblings that may be hard to fix.

Violence- Some relationships are so full of resentment, jealousy and even hate that volatile confrontations can become violent. This violence is sign that there are serious problem that need to be dealt with, and professional counseling may be only way to find a permanent resolution.

Self-esteem- Destructive behavior can leave emotional scar that may last lifetime. A child's self-esteem that has suffered repetitive blows may have hard time recovering. Some children have more difficult time shrugging off insults and criticism from their sibling than other children do.


If you have to referee sibling conflicts on regular basis you should have game plan.

1) Do not automatically dismiss your child's anger. (2) Do not promote guilt. You do not want to force your child to act certain way out of guilt.

2) Do give your children an opportunity to handle disagreements without interference from you.

3) Do look for way to ward off confrontations.

4) Do use a positive reinforcement.

Punishment- Give each child timeout. Limit child's activities. If your child loves video games, you may need to ground him from playing them for day.

Reward- Just as punishments are often necessary, rewards are essential if you want to emphasize a good behavior. Praise your children when they work problem out by themselves. Make each child feel special by allowing them to do special thing, such as choosing family movie.





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