When you have multiple children, you’re going to experience some competition between them. This can manifest in a number of different ways, and the truth is, you’re never going to eliminate it.
Sibling rivalry is just a fact of life when you have more than one child. Knowing how to deal with those situations is essential to minimizing the tears and avoiding future occurrences, and I’ve got some great tips for you on how to do just that.Rather read than watch? Click here.
Now the first thing to keep in mind is that most sibling rivalry occurs because of jealousy. One child feels like they’re not getting the attention that the other one is or this child wants to stand out more than that child. There’s a lot of comparisons going on between siblings. That’s the number one reason you get conflict. A great way to deal with that is to have private time with each child individually. I’ve got three kids and we’re together a lot of the time and when we step away and have one on one time with one of them we call them “Special Days.” They really enjoy it, just having that one on one attention, to really honor that child and that child’s special gifts, it really makes them feel special.
Try to carve that out, if you can do it once a month you’re going to notice really quickly a decrease in their jealousy if you’re doing one on one time once a month. Maybe do it once a day even where you just pull a child out for a story time together just you and he. Maybe you just go and have a ten minute conversation about each child’s day with them or go through their homework plan. Whatever it is, just so that they feel that they’re getting individual attention. That’s going to help immensely.
Another thing to think about is are you intervening? Are they getting a lot of attention for the behavior? If every time they have a little squabble you swoop in to save the day and negotiate and you become the mediator, then they’re not really learning any skills. All they’re learning is, “I’ve got a problem, I’m going to whine loud enough until mom shows up to solve it.” You want to help your children develop problem solving strategies. The only way they’re really going to figure that out is first it needs to be modeled so they need to understand what is an appropriate way to solve a problem. Then they need to be given space to figure that out.
When you hear a squabble start, step back, don’t rush in and see if they can get themselves threw it. What I’ll say to my kids sometimes is I’ll say, “That’s one.” Now they know I’m hearing what’s going on, I’m waiting for them to find a resolution but I’m not butting in yet. If this squabble continues I’ll go, “That’s two.” Now they really know that mom’s getting annoyed and if we don’t work this out, she’s going to come in and take it away. Then if it gets to three that’s exactly what happens. You couldn’t figure out how to solve this problem, therefore I’m coming in and the problem is done. Whatever the fight is about it’s over.
If it’s about the TV, the TV is off now, if it’s about who’s taking the dog out, now you both are. It’s a consequence to not solving the issue. The more that … You know what? My kids are 13, 11, and 10, and I can tell you there are not a lot of squabbles going on in our house. They tend to get along fairly well and when there’s conflict they … not always, they’re not perfect, but they often get threw it by the time I’ve got to three and they’ve worked it out. That’s a great way to kind of keep the ball rolling.
One last tip might be to set some reward incentives around this. If you’ve got a situation where it’s kind of critical, they’re always fighting, they rarely get along. You may need to sit down as a family and plan out some reward. “If you two can get along in a cooperative manner till Friday then on Friday night we will do something special or have pizza, movie night or go out for dinner.” Whatever it is so they have a bit of an incentive to try harder to get along. Because sometimes it does require effort to get along doesn’t it? It requires effort to think things threw more rationally then to just go, ” Hey, I don’t like it.” and get in a fight. That will definitely help especially if the situation has gotten a little critical. Hope that helps you, thanks for watching today, sleep well.
If you’re struggling with your child’s behavior issues, or just need a hand correcting a few minor habits, check out Kids:The Manual. It’s a complete behavior resource for kids aged 2 – 12, and it can help you eliminate problem behaviors in your kids in as little as 2 days!
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