Sibling rivalry


If today a survey is made as to how many parents understand as the situation involves in the interplay among the children in the family, it is predicted or presumed that majority will fail in the survey. Even the most learned parents will fail to understand the sensitive situation, except perhaps, the psychologically-minded parents.

Generally, sibling rivalry is a normal and healthy condition that happens in every family that has two or more children.

Problems result when children decide that being loved is conditional. Children are good observers but poor interpreters. Children often mistakenly believe that only one person in a family can have a certain claim to fame. For instance, the oldest child usually tries to be the first and the boss, the second child looks for the injustices and tries hard to catch up with the first, the youngest child thinks he or she is entitled to extra attention, and the only child wants to be special. If adults are trying to control a situation where kids are trying to find ways in which they are unique, it is a wasted effort. The kids will find their own ways to belong and feel significant.

Here are suggestions: If you perceive a child to be the underdog and you try to protect him, it usually makes the situation worse. The best approach is to stay out of the kids’ business and let them work it out. When an adult tries to fix this situation, it only complicates matters.

Give positive messages to every child so they will know how special they are. For example, when a child shows a special or unique talent, tell him sincerely, “You are really good at organizing activities,” Another boy was told about his true inclination. “You are really good at ignoring group pressure and doing what you like.” The youngest child was told. “You let these big guys think you’re the boss, while you get exactly what you want.” These positive attitudes build self-esteem that boost their ego.

Find activities that stress group cooperation and teamwork. Help the kids discover that things are more fun when they include people who have different strengths and talents.

Make sure that your message of love gets through and each child is loved for being the unique and special human being he or she is.