How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry
If you have children you have no doubt been confronted with sibling rivalry at least once. Dealing with sibling rivalry can be a challenge at times but you don’t always have to deal with the knockdown, drag outs that can come with it. Here are a few tips and tricks to make it easier.
First of all, you can stop the bickering by making sure each child has a few toys and other items that are theirs and theirs alone. This may seem like the opposite thing to do to stop children from fighting over things but it’s not. By establishing from the beginning that each child has things that only belong to him or her, you’re letting each child as well as the sibling know that they have territory that is theirs. But as important as it is for everyone to know that each person has their own property, it’s equally important for them to know that all other toys are fair game for everyone.
Jealousy is common among siblings – especially when you bring a new baby into your home. Toddlers who are about to become an older sibling will naturally become jealous of a new baby in the house that seems to suck up all of the attention. You can help your toddler be ready for a new baby by:
- Spending time with other people’s babies and/or read books about the arrival of a new baby to the family. Take time to explain that there will be a new baby in the house and that your toddler is going to be a big brother or big sister and you will need his or help when the baby comes home.
- Give your toddler a few “big brother” or “big sister” gifts when you bring the baby home from the hospital. It will not only take his or her mind off the new baby and the “fuss” that goes along with it, but it will also make them feel just a little extra special.
- Never blame a change in plans on the baby. If a trip to the park has to be canceled or changed because it’s time for the baby’s nap time or meal, just tell your toddler that you’ll go to the park later and then try to switch his or her attention to a movie or other quiet indoor activity to take the attention off the change in plans.
Make sure both children know that they are loved equally and that nothing is going to change that.