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Harmony at Home: Coping with sibling rivalry

 

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Harmony at Home: Coping with sibling rivalry

“Wait until your first child is out of diapers before you think of having another.” It’s advice we’ve all gotten. But the real shock is that when another baby comes into the house, no matter how old your first child is, he will probably regress a bit and feel some resentment towards his younger sibling. And these reactions are only the first signs of rivalry he’s likely to show towards his new brother or sister over the course of his life.

At heart, sibling rivalry arises from a feeling of competition for a parent’s love. Parents usually feel that there is enough love to go around, but to kids, love can seem limited when it has to be shared with a brother or sister.

Some sources suggest that sibling rivalry is a bigger problem when children are between two and five years apart. If the age difference is less, the older child is not likely to remember being the only child and enjoying all the attention. When there is a greater age difference, the older child is more likely to have gotten interested in his own activities and not feel so threatened by the baby. Nevertheless, no matter what your older child’s age, feeling jealous and competitive is normal when a new baby arrives.

Keep these tips in mind!

DON’T

 DON’T compare children or play favorites.

 DON’T interfere in every argument.

 DON’T expect your older child to be a babysitter.

 DON’T allow your younger child to ruin your older child’s possessions.

 DON’T expect your older child to act like an adult.

 DON’T fight with your spouse in front of your children. Adult discussions can teach kids problem solving skills, but only if conducted in an adult fashion.

 DON’T expect your children to act loving to each other all the time.

 DON’T accept violence from either child.

 

Read more about sibling rivalry:

WELCOMING THE NEW BABY

SIBLING RIVALRY: A GROWING NIGHTMARE?

Sibling Rivalry In Older Kids

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