Sibling Rivalry! 5 Do’s and Don’ts

sibling-rivalryWhile siblings can develop lifelong friendships during childhood that carry over well into adulthood, they can also fight like cats and dogs. If you’re a beleaguered parent looking for help, read on to learn more about the do’s and don’ts of sibling rivalry.


1. Remain Positive

Regardless of how your children are acting, they want to play together, so be sure to remain positive and help them reach a common ground, as opposed to making them play separately.

2. Moderate

This is not a time for you to play judge, jury and executioner, this is a time for you to moderate and hear both sides out. By stepping in to moderate instead of punish, the children are not placed on the defensive and they are more likely to open up to you.

3. Have Answers

Inevitably, you will have to rule in favor of one child and you are going to be told that you love one more than the other. They may also say that they hate their sibling and it is your job to have answers at the ready, so that your children can properly process their angry feelings.

4. Spend Solo Time

Each child is going to want to feel as if they have your undivided attention for at least a little while each day, so be sure to give all of your children some solo time and remove the idea that you have a “favorite”.

5. Celebrate Individuality

Your children do not all have to behave as one cohesive unit and their differences will cause them to bump heads. Continue to celebrate their individuality and praise the aspects of their personality that make them unique.


1. Jump In Quickly

Watch from afar and give the children a chance to work out their issues without any sort of interference or intervention. Your little ones just might pleasantly surprise you with their reasoning skills.

2. Force Apologies

It’s alright for your child to be angry and by forcing them to apologize before they are ready, you are not allowing the situation to reach a natural conclusion, so steer clear of this tactic.

3. Set a Bad Example

When it comes to conflict resolution, parents are the ones who set the tone for their children. If they see you reacting poorly when conflict arises, this is the lesson that they will take from your tutelage.

4. Have False Expectations

The elder child does not always to be the voice of reason and your youngest does not have license to behave like a spoiled brat, so don’t allow these types of expectations to enter your thought process.

5. Exclude

Sometimes, parents have a tendency to exclude one child from the discussion when they are trying to moderate a dispute. This will only serve to make the other child believe that you love them less and you’ll want to create an inclusive environment.

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