I have two daughters close in age different personalities of course, but both are strong-willed and clash over every little thing. The first likes to be in charge of everything and likes her space while the second is more free-spirited. Despite their different disposition they are fond of each other. its not like they have a choice. They argue all the time about who sits in a particular spot , who uses the microwave first…… and the list goes on, and after a few minutes they become best friends again. This is SIBLING RIVALRY.
What is sibling rivalry? someone will ask. Who never fought with their siblings when they were younger? I certainly did and quiet a lot by the way.
Simply explained its when siblings fight or disagree over something or when one child feels a sense of less attention.
It can be first experienced by toddler or school-aged children when another child comes into the family, when siblings struggle for toys, space, and power or when teenagers fallout.
Siblings fight for different reasons which may include;
- individual temperament
- lack of individual attention
For me the solution lies not so much in finding out who was wrong or right,(after all it takes two to fight),but in allowing them resolve it together.This helps engender compromise, negotiation and control of aggressive actions or impulses (self-control).
WAYS I HELP THEM GET ALONG
- I encourage them to spend time together talking about their day for about 15 minutes before bedtime
- I make them apologize and hug each other after a fight.
- I let them do things together like baking even if they still argue while at it.
- I spend time with them all together playing silly games because its not how much time you spend with them but you do at that time that matters.
- I give then attention individually and collectively
- I appeal to them to take turns and be considerate of each other.
- I treat them equally as this fosters cooperation.
- I divide task or role
Lastly i try to understand when they are overwhelmed and need their space. My eight year old likes her space so she prefers to excuse herself and find a place to relax and calm down while my seven years old would need a big hug and her blanket for comfort.
These are just my suggestions and experience that have worked for me, not principles. Siblings will not always want to share things, sometimes they intrude into each other’s privacy or fall out with each other but with hard work and consistency, it turns into a long-lasting friendship.