Sibling Rivalry: What Do Parents Need To Know?

Parent Herald March 01, 06:47 am

Sibling rivalry is very common and most family members can become easily frustrated due to this. This is a concern among parents with two or more children. How well do parents really know about this? What coping management should be enforced to make the kids get along?

Problems about sibling rivalry often start after the birth of the second child. The first child was used to having all the things his way until such time that there is another child in the house who changes the way things go. Each child seems to compete and define themselves as who they are in the family. Kids will eventually discover who they are, and when they do, they try to find their own talents, interest and likes.

According to Dr. Peter Goldenthal, a Pennsylvania family psychologist and author of Beyond Sibling Rivalry (Owl Books, 2000), one of the biggest triggering factors for sibling rivalry is the unfair treatment from parents. His study quoted, "the source of sibling rivalry problems doesn't rest solely with the child, you have to look at the entire family." Oftentimes, the lack of balance in family relationships causes this.

It is not impossible to help the kids get along well. In fact, there are ways which are already proven to foster sibling relationships. It is recommended for parents to consciously create wonderful interactions between children. For example, parents can make bath time more fun and engaging. Also, it is helpful to allow the older sibling to take responsibility like helping the younger one reach for a toy or keep the mess after playtime.

A study by the University of Michigan Health System reported that it is best to set up the children to cooperate rather than compete amongst themselves. Of course, parents have a great role in order to achieve this.

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