Dealing with Sibling Fights and Rivalry
Being summoned to be the referee, playing judge and jury, breaking the shouting match and more; these are familiar scenarios for families with more than one child.
It is good to know that sibling fighting and rivalry are just normal. They do this because they are either hungry or bored. It can even transpire because they want mom or dad’s attention. There are even times when these children fight just because they are tired of being in each other’s presence.
However, there’s a downside to fighting. That is why it is important to deal with your children’s squabbles by teaching them how to properly solve a misunderstanding. Here are some scenarios common to multiple children households and what you can do as parents to maintain the day-to-day harmony:
- Wanting mommy or daddy’s attention
When you have a younger sibling, the older kid feels that he or she does not occupy the special baby place anymore. They now need to share his or her parent’s love with someone else.
Disregarding your older child’s feeling will only worsen the problem. Prevent your child’s jealousy by attending to them, too. Let them cuddle with you as you care for their baby brother or sister. Let them help out. The secret is to let them know that they are equally important.
- Annoying the other sibling and hitting back
Children get bored sometimes when they have nothing else to do. So to end their boredom, they look for excitement by annoying their sibling. And because their victim succumbed to their action, the other sibling hits them out of rage.
To deal with this, you need to reiterate the following rules in the house:
- No hitting your sibling
- Avoid making each other upset
- Use only words to express your feelings
After recapping the rules, tell them what they both did wrong and explain to them other means of getting what they wanted. This is why you have to highlight the importance of using words to express what they are currently feeling.
- Dealing with screaming matches
This all starts with one sibling calling names to each other and eventually erupting into this season’s new episode of the Screaming Matches. This happens because (1) the children may be in confined space where they cannot release their pent-up energy, (2) they are bored, and (3) you have your attention somewhere else.
In order to solve the matter, distract them by having activities ready. You can sing along to their common favorite song while traveling or bring along their favorite toys so they can distract themselves.
Children fight all the time. We can testify to that as a daycare in Maryland and a provider of child care in Bowie MD. One Step Up Early Child Care LLC acknowledges that the intervention of the adults is the key so the little ones can gain better understanding and means to settle a conflict.
What was the worst sibling fight you stopped?