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Dealing with Siblings
No matter how old you and your siblings are, there always seems to be a few problems involved, especially with rivalries – about everything. Your siblings are your brothers, sisters, step brothers or step sisters, or they might just be those that were your best friends that were at your home all the time when you were growing up but you were really close. All siblings have their problems, fighting about who has what and who is better at just about anything that you do as a family.
Sibling rivalries are bound to follow you through your adult ages as well. You can use these tips and ideas to prevent sibling rivalry and deal with your own children so that you can balance their lives a little more by your own actions to help lessen the outrageous sibling rivalries that exist in some family situations. Reading through these tips you might even find that you are better able to understand some of the rivalry that goes on within your own family even as adults.
Sibling rivalry is unavoidable. There is some amount of rivalry in any family setting, there is very little if anything you can do to prevent it all from happening. There is no one to blame and there is no one answers about why these problems occur.
Often a first child is going to seemingly receive special treatment but that is only natural as they are the first-born. You can’t blame a mother as this is natural. All mothers ‘go through’ this feeling of their first child being special, but that does not mean that any parent is going to love their other children any less.
If you are the parent, you need to minimize the extra attention that your first child receives so that all of the children are going to feel equal and loved. When a mother has one child, and this child is a few years old when another sibling comes along, the first child feels like they are receiving less attention because you are busy with your new baby.
As the baby grows, the baby resents the older child because you give them additional attention because they are able to do more on their own. The vicious circle never stops. Somewhere in your movements, motivations and what you do all the time, you have to try to balance everything so your children feel equal.
When you have just had a baby and you have other children, try to get as much rest as you can so that when you are with the children you can play with all of them. The mother who is well rested is not going to be snappy or harsh with the older children when having to deal with the baby at the same time. The rivalry feelings are not as harsh from the very start.
As children get older, they will start to fight about toys, about who sits where and who gets to sit on your lap. To stop this type of sibling rivalry you can make sure that the children take turns sitting in favorite spots. Have the children share their toys and their things as much as possible. Allow the children some amount of freedom in figuring out how the problem should be resolved but set limits on their decision making at various ages. Allowing the children to work things out on their own as they get older will ensure that you are not a part of the rivalry feelings that grow between children and that you are not showing any special favorites.
A stable life helps your children grow and thrive without too much rivalry. Spending equal amounts of time with the children as they get older and as they have special events in their lives is going to lessen the rivalry feelings between the children. For example, if you have a birthday party for one child, on the birthday for the next child you should be doing the same things, not more or less. If you have a party at the skating rink for one, then on the next birthday the other child is going to expect the same treatment.
If one child is great at baseball, find something that your other children can do in their own way. Making each child feel that they have something special to give to the world and that you are proud of is going to make their rivalries seem less important. If all the children play baseball, and one has a special skill the other, children are going to feel less important or less special, which broods rivalries.
Try to keep your sense of humor with children. Eventually one is going to say, ‘You don’t love me, you only love xxx’ – this is a time when you know that the rivalry is getting rough and that you need to spend more time stabilizing your relationships with all of your children and making them all feel equal in the family.
Be firm with your discipline. If you make one child stand in the corner for swearing, when the next child does it, you have to use the same treatments. A constant method of correction is going to make all the children feel equal. In the situation where the child who only gets a lecture instead of the same treatment is going to make the other children feel as if he or she is a favorite and the rivalries will build up.
If you are feeling continuous feelings of rivalries with your siblings even after you are grown, think back for a few moments about how your parents tried to make your feel special and part of the family – you will notice the rivalries will seem less important after all!