One minute, they’re happily playing with each other and sharing toys. The next thing you know, they’re screaming at each other, calling names, and even pulling each other’s hair!
If you have more than one kid, chances are you’ve seen this scenario one too many times. It may even be a common occurrence that’s driving you insane. Indeed, sibling rivalry is one of the things that makes the journey of parenting a tough one. But why does sibling rivalry happen?
There are a number of possible reasons behind sibling rivalry. It could be the lack of structure, routines or clear expectations at home. It could be the lack of positive attention or lack of a solution for the issues or complaints raised by one of the kids. Sometimes, when young kids aren’t able to express their frustrations verbally, they express themselves by misbehaving and fighting with their sisters or brothers. These things are inevitable but they can be very exhausting.
If it’s driving you crazy and you finally want to put an end to your kids’ fighting, here are some parenting solutions to consider.
As a parent, you stand as the judge when your children fight. However, it isn’t every day that you get to witness when arguments and fights take place. It isn’t every day that you get to see who started what or witness the things they did or said to each other. Nevertheless, when you act as mediator, it’s imperative to practice equality. Do not take sides. Especially if you do not have all the facts yet. Allow each of them to explain their side and be very objective. Encourage them to listen to one another too. And have them say their apologies if necessary.
Ditch the labels
Today’s society has taught us to thrive on labels and categories. People are labeled according to popularity, intelligence, talent and so on. When it comes to parenting, labeling is a no-no especially when you have more than one child. We don’t want our kids to think that the other one is smarter or more talented or more superior. That’s not the kind of culture you want to cultivate because you won’t want to create comparisons and a sense of competition between siblings.
Give intentional attention
One of the primary reasons why children fight is because they seek attention. If parents are unable to shower them with adequate attention, they tend to misbehave to at least get negative attention.
If you have more than one kid, make sure each one gets to feel loved and cared for. Satisfy their need for attention by giving each one of them intentional attention each day. Intentional means undivided and with no distractions at all. Put away your phone, turn the television off, and set aside anything that keeps you occupied. Also make it child-centered by going for the activities your little one enjoys. Do they want to play dress-up? Or do they want to read books? Do they simply want to have snacks with you or do they want you to join them in completing their puzzle?
The goal here is to make each of your children feel you are committing your time to them. By making sure they each get a special time, you are not only creating an emotional bond but you are also making them feel confident and secure in your love.
Take electronic gadgets away
Too much addiction to screens and electronics is known to have detrimental effects on a child’s wellbeing. Children who use too much technology are observed to have more difficult behavior and a shorter attention span. Also, when they are glued to their gadgets, they spend less time connecting with family members and siblings. The best thing to do? Give them a break from electronics and set rules for screen time. This will encourage them to start using their free time to play and have fun using their other toys.
Dealing with sibling rivalry each and every day is downright exhausting for every parent. But if you want to make your little ones start to get along and gradually minimize their fighting, these tips should help you.
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