As a parent you love all your children just as much, that goes without saying. However, that sometimes works slightly differently in small children’s brains. The result: a fierce competition between brothers and sisters. How can you prevent such a mutual struggle and what do you do about it, once it breaks loose?
Competition between children
“Mommy is mine!”
“I had that hug first”
“He hit me”
Recognizable? The life of a family is not always about roses. That is not the case with anyone; you are no exception to this. A fierce competition can sometimes erupt in families with several kids. Brothers and sisters who cannot air or see each other. The reason can be found in many corners and varies from jealousy to rooster behavior and from age difference to clashing characters.
They can get intensely angry, brothers. Fraternal rivalry ranges from virtue areas and minor bullying to fraternal competition. The battle of the fittest, defending male honor or a fight for mommy. As a parent, it is important to adhere to ‘we will share everything’ as a motto and, above all, not to get carried away in the fight. Of course correct excessive behavior.
Cinderella seen? Sisters can be that mean! Unlike siblings, sisters are often not jealous of Mama’s attention but of things. Sister fights often concern Barbie’s, dolls or dresses. The one has more than the other. Don’t give in to this. “Then the other person was lucky”, is a good response. If you reward your jealous behavior, chances are that this will become a fixed tactic in the heat of battle. ‘Standing in the shadow of your sister’ is also a common conflict in girls’ families. Teach them that everyone has unique characteristics, that nobody is more or less and that they are in a different shade.
If you have a family with three children, there may sometimes be a ‘third wheel in the car situation’. The age difference between the oldest and youngest child may be too big to spend with each other. Or one of the children has a completely different character compared to the other two. A child who feels excluded can sometimes move more towards the parents, which in turn can lead to jealousy among the others. Here too the advice is to remain objective and to assume the role of mediator.
What to do?
We have just given a few tips, but if this has not diminished the fight at home, the advice below may be useful.
Keep yourself out of the conflict for as long as possible
Do you hear from the kitchen that the kids are in disagreement? Maybe you are wrong? Do NOT attempt to interfere as long as possible. Let them fight it out yourself and radiate that you don’t pay attention in a negative way. Of course it will be a different story if they get in each other’s hair or the toys fly through the room, but you don’t give home until the war really breaks out.
Draw a line
Make sure that you as parents are on the same line and apply the same rules to everyone. This way you run the least chance of jealous glances and disagreements between siblings. Correct negative behavior in all children in the same way and use the same consequences. Also tell what he or she has done wrong and why this is not allowed. In this way it is clear to the child why he or she is being addressed and what needs to be changed in the future.
Cast out arguments
This advice is somewhat consistent with open communication when correcting negative behavior. Children still have a lot to learn, so always say things to each other. It is good to make them realize that arguing is part of it, but make up for it too! Sometimes ‘sorry’ and a hand is enough.