How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry with the help of Emotional Intelligence
Hey, Mamas! We know there’s a lot that comes with raising children. One aspect of having kids is knowing how to handle sibling rivalry. Whether you like it or not, sibling rivalry is something that occurs in most households. A way to manage this is through developing your child’s emotional intelligence (EI).
Emotional intelligence is basically having a good handle on your emotions to build relationships with others better. And developing a child's EI will help them relate with their emotions and manage their own little challenges in life, like living with siblings. This way, they’ll be able to understand, notice and act on their emotions as siblings ideally should.
Here are some tips to help you develop their emotional intelligence so you and your children can get through the sibling rivalry phase smoothly.
1. Set Mama’s house rules! No hitting, no violent behavior and no name-calling are typical house rules your children should always follow. By setting these rules, you’re creating a peaceful environment at home where your kids will be able to develop their emotions more freely and confidently.
2. Teach them fair play! It’s important to teach your kids the idea of fairness and equality. Teach them simple negotiation skills like taking turns playing, trading toys, dividing treats and of course, sharing. This will come in handy when they have little disputes while you’re not around.
3. Let them express themselves! We sometimes forget that children also need to be heard. Don’t deny how they feel! If your child is upset with a sibling, encourage them to express their feelings openly and honestly without physically or verbally hurting each other. This helps them develop understanding and patience. And by listening, you help them remove negative feelings out of the way of their love for one another.
4. Let them figure things out on their own. Your eldest wants kids swimming, while the youngest wants dance classes for kids? Let’s face it, you’ve faced these kinds of arguments before. While it is important to get involved to settle these disputes, let your kids try and solve their problems with each other as long as they aren’t breaking family rules. This is a very good way to see if they are able to settle a dispute peacefully if left alone.
5. Teach them to be responsible for each other. Even if they fight and argue, your children should know to always have each other’s back! If one is unhappy, teach the other to be protective and find ways to make their sibling feel better. You can give them gifts from each other or teach them teamwork when playing together so they develop a bond. This will make them more appreciative and aware of the care and love they have for one another.
At the end of the day, sibling rivalry is just a phase in your children’s lives, so don’t stress! With just a little help in nurturing their emotional intelligence, your children should easily foster a loving and caring relationship with each other.
Because sibling rivalry is just one of the many things parents have to manage every day, you can always explore Club Mama for many helpful and meaningful parenting tips – from choosing fun activities for kids, learning about proper nutrition, and so much more!
- Americal Academy Pediatrics. (1996). Sibling Relationships Guidelines for Parents, p. 1-2.
- avera.org. (n.d.). Sibling Rivalry. Avera, p. 2.
- Markham, D. L. (2015). Peaceful Parent, Happy Sibling. A Fine Parent, p. 4.
- Wipfler, P. (n.d.). Sibling Rivalry: Some Solutions. 5-6.