One of the most overt characters of human beings is the inveterate seeking of attention to themselves. This trait seems to be planted in the human gene, thus it begins to be manifested from the day an individual is born. It is easy for parents to notice that their babies love being around them, and if they leave the baby on their own, they cry. This is the act of looking for attention. Sibling rivalry, a kind of fraternal tussle, is what we call this seeking of parental attention/approval in a situation where a cut-throat competition among siblings for the same is evident. What if a new born is introduced into the family? A tug of war sprouts between the children who want the interest of their parents to themselves. This struggle between the children can be fundamentally damaging if you do not step in as a parent. Below are surefire tips on how you can handle sibling rivalry, fraternal hatefulness, and children squabbles in your family.
To address sibling rivalry, it is imperative to reduce the age gap between children. The closer the gap between your children in terms of age, the intense the struggle for attention becomes. Therefore, it is good for parents to family-plan such that the age difference is increased. E.g. a gap of four years to three and half years is healthy. It gives each child enough time to bond with the parents and feels loved.
Learn to Act Impartially
Further on curbing sibling rivalry, parents ought to act impartially. It should be understood that as a parent, it is not good to show attention to one child while neglecting the other(s). This might send the wrong message so that the child who has been left out feels neglected and unloved. They will feel that the new born baby has stolen the spotlight and thus, the neglected kid retaliates by declaring war on the newborn.
Treat Each Child As an Individual
If you indeed want to counteract sibling rivalry, you must practice impartiality. Parents have to understand that each child is different from the other. Child A may be an introvert while child B is an introvert in nature. It is therefore not advisable for parents to treat child A as child B. This is because, evidently, they have differences and thus cannot do things the same way. A parent should instead provide each child with a health and free environment based on their specific interests so that the children grow as different individuals and therefore avoid struggling or clashing with the other children. Although this stops sibling rivalry, it does not mean that common family activities are a red spot.
Bolster Justices and Fairness
When it comes to the buying of toys or anything that is of fond interest to your children, make sure that each child gets equitable share. For example, if you buy child A two toys, buy the same number to child B and C. This sends a clear signal to the children that you have no favorite child among them, and thus, they are more likely to be affable to one another because they are receiving the same amount of parental attention/interest.
We recommend that parents put into consideration the above tips so that they are in a position to improve and manage sibling rivalry among their children. As a reminder, parents should be able to recognize the diversity and individuality of each child when handling them. When each child is treated so, then there is no mistaking that they are loved, and they will not attempt to compete against their siblings.