Have been at your wits just sorting out differences between your lil ones? It becomes tiring emotionally (& physically, sometimes) to spectre rivalry amongst siblings.
Just remember, we are beings evolved from apes, so survival instincts are always at peak. The challenge from other competing members of the family is fierce and the need to prove your superiority over your siblings is vital to chances of your own survival.
However, don’t exhaust yourself about a seemingly common occurrence which is considered an integral part of growing up. It is always better to address any problem at a root stage but with a softer touch. Try not to get overemphasized and make it a deep-rooted dislike for one’s brothers and sisters.
So parents with one or more children who are looking to expand your families, either biologically or via adoption, be ready to assume the role of a referee and sort out endless instances of rivalry, also known as sibling rivalry.
Being a parent has both good & sometimes bad stress. The long-term effects of sibling rivalry depend solely on how early parents recognise the signs and how well they handle it. Here are some quick tips:
- Promote participation: Take your older children into confidence as soon as it is known that there will be an addition to the family. Kids like to feel important and asking them to be a part of a major event in the family promotes a sense of responsibility in them.
- Share responsibility: Involve the older children in caring for the baby. Kids relish the idea of being given a role disproportionate to their age and will leave no stone unturned to do their best. This will in turn help them form strong bonds with the baby.
- Share equal: Even though the newborn baby needs more of your time, make sure the older child is given equal importance. If the he/she is old enough, it is a good idea to get him/her to help you feed the baby, change the diaper or do minor chores.
- Build bonds: Explain to the older child why it is important to help his/her parents to take care of the baby. Once they realize they are as much of stakeholders in baby’s well-being as the parents, it eliminates the sense of competition which makes kids insecure.
- Treat them equal: Give a patient hearing to both sides when they are old enough to begin to have differences. This is vital as any personal favourites–real or unintended–will sow the seeds of discontent in one or both of the children.
- Be gender-neutral: Never promote superiority of one gender over the other, because early impressions leave a permanent scar or even worse, promote prejudice.
Finally, siblings raised well form bonds that last for a lifetime and bring joy and contentment to parents, who can sit back in the knowledge that their kids have formed a strong bond, nay, a mutual support system, in a way only brothers and sisters can, thus earning them the right to pat each other on the back for a job done well!