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11 Important Coping Mechanisms for Sibling Rivalry in Your Home So You Don’t Go Mad

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Is there sibling conflict in your home? Are your children constantly arguing? Always in competition with one another? Is it driving you mad? Is this rivalry becoming too stressful for you and the other family members? Are you needing help with this? If so, here are some suggestions.

But, to deal with this conflict, one first needs to determine the causes of it.

What Causes Sibling Conflict?

There are many factors which may contribute to this. Some examples are :

If a child:

  1. Is trying to establish his own identity and individuality.
  2. Feels threatened or stressed outside of the home, at school or at creche.
  3. Feels that he is receiving less attention than his sibling.
  4. Feels his relationship with his parents is threatened when a new baby arrives.
  5. Is fractious, because of a bad diet, hunger or tiredness.
  6. Lives in a home where there are no ground rules and there is a lack of order or structure.
  7. Has parents who feel and accept that it is normal for siblings to be aggressive and fight.
  8. Does not receive much parental supervision or contact because one or more of the parents is regularly absent from the home.
  9. Does not experience much family interaction and is left to his own devices and to entertain himself.
  10. Has parents who are too stressed by outside pressures to give time and attention to him or his sibling.
  11. Has parents who are too involved with their own interests, eg. sport or tv, to spend time with him.

The above factors can lead to children feeling stressed and frustrated. And, to their becoming less tolerant so that they resort to conflict in trying to deal with their issues.



How to Deal with Sibling Conflict?

Parents should:

  • Never show any favouritism.
  • Try to treat each child the same and fairly.
  • Try to give each child his own one-on-one time with you when he can enjoy your undivided attention and on a fairly regular basis.
  • Pay attention to what your child is, and is not, saying to you.
  • Encourage each child to be himself, to have his own space and do not compare him to another.
  • Try to establish if there are any issues or contributing factors at school or at creche and teach him how to manage this.
  • Establish a routine and structure in the home with rules.
  • Observe the patterns of when this conflict occurs; is it at bed-time?, or before meals?, or when the child has just woken up?. Then perhaps a slight re-arrangement of the schedule or routine might help to eliminate this.
  • Arrange enjoyable family activities where everyone is present and participates so that each can learn to share and enjoy things together as a family.
  • Set up fun activities for your children to do together eg. a jigsaw so that they learn to "play" and "work" together.
  • A daily family meal together engenders family spirit, especially if cell-phones or other distractions are banned. Each person should be allowed a time to speak without being interrupted and to express his feelings and sentiments without derision. And, everyone else must listen.

It is not easy being a parent and parenting sibling rivalry. Continuous conflict between the same two siblings in the home always needs careful assessment of the underlying causes and needs sensitive handling.

For more information, follow this link:
https://centerforparentingeducation.org/library-of-articles/sibling-rivalry/coping-sibling-rivalry/

Contact details: https://www.finelinesolutions.co.za/

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