Sibling rivalry is something that few second-time-around parents manage to avoid, and it can prove to be highly disruptive and upsetting for the entire household. If you do find yourself faced with this problem, don’t despair. You are certainly not alone, and there are some very effective tactics that you can use to get things back on track.
- There are many reasons why children feel jealous of or angry with their siblings, and it is important to acknowledge their feelings whether they are justified or not.
- Intervene in the situation only when you really have to. If you always step in, not only is there the risk that one child will be seen by the other as being protected or favored, but there is also the possibility that both will learn to use arguments to get your attention. In addition, children need to learn for themselves how to effectively resolve disputes and get along. If there is any danger of either child coming to physical harm, however, then obviously intervention is vital.
- Try to head trouble off at the pass by having fair systems in place for dealing with issues that are likely to end in argument.
- If trouble does break out and you need to intervene, separate the children until they have both calmed down.
- Never mind who is to blame…it takes two to make an argument.
- Look for win-win solutions.
- Use positive reinforcement instead of focusing on bad behavior.