When you have more than one child you can also get sibling rivalry. The arguing and fighting between siblings seems almost inevitable. However, it does not need to escalate into an all-out war. While some arguing is expected, your children should not be at each other’s throats. Here are some ways to instill an enduring and tolerant love between siblings.
1. Love equally – Many times sibling rivalry stems from a fear of being unloved. When a new baby enters a family the older child can feel left out or abandoned because the baby needs so much time and attention. You can help deal with this proactively by telling the older child that you love them and will not love them any less after the new baby is born. Try to explain to them that babies need more attention because they can’t take care of anything alone. Emphasize the fact that the older child can help you and the baby and be loved by you both. Make sure that even when the children get older you do not show preference for one over the other. Instead take the time to love each child for the things that make them special and point out what those things are.
2. Separate times – In order to love more than one child at a time you need to make sure you give each child individual attention. This can be a few minutes or a trip that you and the child take alone. This little time away from the other sibling can help to make the child feel loved and like they got the attention they needed with no distractions. Even teens can get jealous, so be sure you make spending individual time with them a priority.
3. Don’t compare – Never compare your kids. This is not fair and is very hurtful. Each child has a talent of their own. While one may excel in sports the other may be a great artist or thinker. That does not mean you should compare their grades, their art or their athletic ability. Instead try to find at least one thing to praise about each child. That way they feel like you appreciate their talents and are not wishing they were more like their sibling.
4. Encourage cooperation – Last but not least, encourage cooperation instead of competition. Unconsciously many parents encourage competing in their kids. They do races, game and so on where one child can beat the other. Instead try to focus on team activities that allow each child to do what they are best at. You should also encourage them to help each other to become more well-rounded. If one child loves sports and the other loves to read, have each child help the other gain some ability in their preferred activity. They may not excel in it, but the spirit of teaching and helping can smooth over any angry feelings.
These are just a few of the ways you can help your children to overcome sibling rivalry. Start when they are small and make sure that all your children know you love them for who they are.
Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor of http://www.nannypro.com/. Learn more about her http://www.nannypro.com/blog/sara-dawkins/.