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Nip Unhealthy Sibling Rivalry In The Bud With These Tips

Don’t let sibling rivalry ruin the bond between your children. Use these tips to get your child used to his new baby brother or sister.
Posted on November 20, 2017   |   Comments 

Sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up. It’s normal for children to be jealous of their younger siblings, especially if the older child was the only child for a long time. But, when this sibling rivalry becomes unhealthy, parents need to take proactive action to prevent cracks from developing in the sibling relationship.


Signs of unhealthy sibling rivalry:

  • Violent pushing and shoving
  • Hitting, scratching and pinching
  • Screaming at the baby
  • Taking away the baby’s toys and taunting the baby
  • Open display of resentment towards the baby

Recognizing these signs and targeting them is extremely important. Here are some ways in which you can prevent unhealthy sibling rivalry from developing:


Emphasize on the relationship between your children

The more often you use phrases such as “your baby sister” and “you’re a big brother now”, you are re-affirming the bond between your children. By constantly being referred to as the “older brother/sister”, your child will develop a sense of responsibility towards the new baby. This will stop him from behaving aggressively towards the new baby.


Carve a special “mommy & me” time with your child

Make sure to spend quality time with your older one every day. Don’t let the new baby intrude on your time with your child. Nap time for the baby is the best time for a date with your older child. Doing this will reassure your child of your love for him and remove any traces of ill-will he has towards his sibling.


Inculcate the habit of sharing

Start with the toys. Talk to your older one about sharing his toys with his young sibling. Every time your older child shares his toy with his baby sibling, be extremely vocal about your happiness. Praise works wonders. The more your child associates positively with sharing, the more often he will do it. 


Indulge in family games

As your children get older, set out time for fun family games. When your children work together, they are less likely to be at each other’s throats. Family games build key skills and traits such as kindness, honesty, sharing, and teamwork.


Don’t compare your kids to each other

Each child is different. Avoid making comparisons between the older and younger child. By indulging in comparison, you may be creating cause for the growing resentment and sibling rivalry.

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