Addressing Sibling Rivalry with Positive Parenting
When your little ones are in any type of trouble, your initial reaction may be to give them a timeout or some sort of punishment. However, there is one technique that always works and will inspire your children to spread love and kindness as they grow older. Because isn’t that the most important lesson we can teach them?
Positive Parenting makes you focus more on your child’s strengths instead of simply correcting their weaknesses.1 It’s all about pushing for positive interactions between you and your kiddos by showing empathy, warmth, and support. And because no one knows your children better than you do, just keep encouraging them to let their unique personalities and abilities shine.
When you allow them to be who they are, there is less space for envy to grow in the hearts of siblings. These 5 everyday steps can also help you address and reduce sibling rivalry:
Avoid giving your children labels 2
Kids are highly impressionistic. So how you consider them has a huge impact on how they see themselves. You may not be doing this intentionally, but giving them labels like “the smart one”, “the malambing one”, “the creative one,” increases the chance of them comparing themselves to each other.
Give your children a chance to surprise you! Allow them to be who they are without unintentionally locking them into a specific role or personality. Keep cheering on their good qualities and this will encourage them to root for each other instead of compete for your attention and approval.
Remember, they’re still young. They will still grow into who they really are as years go by.
Give each child equal attention as much as possible3
This may be easier said than done, but it’s doable! Each child needs attention, and sometimes when they don’t get it, they opt for negative attention instead. What you can do is to allot at least 10-15 minutes of undivided attention to each child.
Allow them to dictate what they want to do, and do it with them. If they want to play dress up, bake or cook, or just tell you about their thoughts, let them. They call the shots.
Trust us, even you will look forward to these bonding moments in the future. But don’t forget to show them how much fun you’re having with them, and let them know.
Stay out of the fight2
We bet you didn’t see this one coming. But the best thing you can do in sibling squabbles is to stay out of it. Don’t give them the attention they’re trying to get by making a ruckus.
This shows your children that their bad behavior is not rewarded. And, this forces them to work the disagreement out on their own.
But if the fight gets too physical, manage the squabble by following the next step.
REMEMBER: Don’t pick sides. If your little ones really can’t fix their disagreement on their own, it’s okay to step in then. But don’t judge either parties.
Give each child time to calm down then listen to each child’s side. Encourage them to tell you what they feel (how their sibling made them feel) as they tell their story. Then you sit down together and come up with solutions. Allow each child to give their suggested solution and mediate.
Anything you say to one child, you need to follow through. This goes for promises, agreement, and even punishments. No matter how hard they complain and negotiate, be strict with yourself.
By doing this, you put them in the same boat and they’re forced to learn to work together to achieve what they need and want.
These 5 steps are not as easy as they seem. But you can take it slow. Be patient with yourself as you are with your kids. You’re all still learning these new things together.
Good luck, Mommy! You can do this!