How to stop sibling rivalry (13 effective tips)

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Written By Olivia Miller

Author at Montessori Expert.

As a mother, you understand the joys and struggles of raising multiple children under one roof.

From squabbles over toys to battles for attention, navigating sibling dynamics can be a daily balancing act.

But don’t you worry! I’ve got your back. Imagine a world where peace reigns and siblings actually get along.

It’s possible, and I’m here to show you how. In this guide, we’ll dive into 13 practical strategies to squash sibling rivalry for good.

Is Sibling Rivalry Common?

two children are kissing each other on the cheek after fighting

Sibling rivalry is incredibly common among children, and there are several reasons why it occurs:

Competition for Attention:

Children often vie for their parents’ attention and may feel jealous when it’s directed towards their siblings.

Individual Differences:

Each child has unique personalities and preferences, leading to clashes over toys, space, or parental favoritism.

Developmental Stages:

As children grow and develop, they may assert their independence, leading to conflicts with their siblings.

Limited Resources:

Siblings may argue over shared resources such as toys, clothes, or even parental time and affection.

13 Tips to Stop Sibling Rivalry

a mom holding hands with two children in a park

1. Set Clear Expectations

Clearly outline the rules and boundaries for behavior, such as sharing toys and respecting each other’s space.

For example, establish a rule that each child must ask before borrowing their sibling’s belongings.

2. Encourage Positive Communication

Teach your children to express their feelings calmly and respectfully.

For instance, encourage them to say, “I feel upset when you take my toys without asking” instead of resorting to yelling or name-calling.

3. Foster Individuality

Celebrate each child’s unique strengths and interests to reduce feelings of competition. 

Encourage them to pursue their own hobbies and passions, fostering a sense of independence and self-worth.

4. Promote Cooperation

Assign tasks that require siblings to work together towards a common goal, such as preparing a meal or cleaning their room.

This fosters teamwork and teaches them the value of collaboration.

5. Model Conflict Resolution

Demonstrate healthy conflict resolution by calmly discussing disagreements with your partner or other family members.

Show your children how to listen actively and find compromises that satisfy everyone involved.

6. Provide Individual Attention

Spend quality one-on-one time with each child to strengthen your bond and reassure them of their importance while reducing the feelings of jealousy or rivalry.

Whether it’s reading a book together or going for a walk, these moments help them feel valued and secure.

7. Avoid Comparisons

Refrain from comparing your children to one another, whether it’s academic achievements or behavior.

Instead, focus on praising each child for their unique strengths and efforts.

8. Teach Problem-Solving Skills

Equip your children with the tools they need to resolve conflicts independently.

Teach them strategies such as brainstorming solutions, compromising, and apologizing when necessary.

9. Create Opportunities for Bonding

Encourage activities that promote bonding and positive interactions between siblings, such as family game nights, outings, or shared hobbies. 

These shared experiences can help strengthen their relationship.

10. Stay Neutral

Instead, facilitate a resolution process that encourages them to find common ground and apologize if necessary.

11. Encourage Empathy

Help your children understand how their actions affect their siblings‘ feelings. Encourage them to imagine how they would feel in their sibling’s shoes to foster empathy and understanding.

12. Celebrate Sibling Bonding

Create special traditions or rituals that siblings can enjoy together, such as a weekly “sibling date” where they choose an activity to do together, like baking cookies or building a fort.

13. Seek Professional Help if Needed

If sibling rivalry persists and significantly impacts family dynamics, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a qualified therapist or counsellor who can provide personalized strategies and support.

sibling rivarly image use for pinterest

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