Sibling Rivalry

So I’m having another one of those days where I’m reflecting on one of my many parent roles,  a referee between my two kids. ‘Have kids near the same age’ I hear. ‘They’ll be great pals’ I hear, but no one warned about the constant battles between young kids and how stressful it can be for a parent. Sometimes I picture what it could feel like to be in a war zone! Most times they do get on which can be great but when they fight it’s horrible!

Being a referee during sibling fightsbox-1013994_1280 (1) is a fatigue I’m sure most parents have to endure. Although sibling rivalry is considered a normal phenomenon in most of the families, it transforms into a bigger problem when one child dominates or bullies the other. Symptoms of sibling rivalry include bickering, hitting, and jealousy which often lead towards the development of emotional instability in adulthood. This is why it is crucial to nip this problem in the bud and promote positive traits among children.

Why Is There a Constant Battle between Siblings


Looking for Attention

The competition among children often arises due to the desire for their parent’s undivided attention, love, and approval. When a child worries that they would have to share their parent’s attention, their reaction results in jealousy and rivalry with the younger sibling. Most of the times, fights between siblings stem from the perceived loss of parental attention and love.

Different Personality

Major personality clashes among children often result in disputes and fights which lead towards sibling rivalry. Parents often make the mistake of comparing striking personality differences such as likes and dislikes, social behavior, abilities and needs among their children which result in resentment and envy among the siblings.

Forced to be Together

Another problem which results in sibling rivalry is when the children are forced to be with each other too much. They are developing at different stages and sometimes they can get frustrated if the younger one cannot do what the older one can or the older one is expecting the younger sibling to do things which they are not ready for yet.

The levels of activities vary among age groups and sometimes one of the siblings is not ready to cope up with them. So when one the older sibling is forced to look after the younger one or when they are forced to play with each other, they get frustrated and fight.

How Parents Feel

Parents often feel frustrated of playing referee during fights and arguments. They get tired when their prolonged struggles of maintaining peace among their children fail. They feel as if their control over their children is lagging and that every tactic they use to avoid sibling rivalry is in vain.

However, there are some ways in which sibling rivalry can be diminished. Read on to discover more ways to develop healthy sibling relationships.

Solution to Sibling Rivalry:dont-panic-1067044_1280

Here are some of the things that every parent should consider reducing sibling rivalry among children.

  1. Don’t always intervene; sometimes it’s best to let them sort out their differences unless it’s a case of hitting each other. Do you really want to get involved with them arguing over Minecraft v Star Wars Lego? Think carefully about that one as kids are quick to join forces together, and you’ll be the one in the frontline begging for mercy.
  2. It is important to realize that every child has different personality traits, abilities and characteristics which is why parents should not compare one sibling with the other.
  3. Let them have their own space and try not to force them to be together all the time. Adults don’t spend all day talking to each other at home so why should kids be any different.
  4. Arrange more play dates with friends their own age so that they can socialize and develop a good mental attitude.
  5. If they are constantly fighting over the same thing like whose turn it is on the swing or what TV programme to watch etc. try to work out a ‘taking turn schedule’ and let them know that if they choose to still fight about, it will be taken away altogether.
  6. Try not to give the older sibling responsibility for the younger, remember they are children too and taking care of the younger sibling is your job.
  7. Look for activities to suit both ages so that they don’t feel neglected
  8. Have more one on one time with them in order to encourage good communication among them.



If anyone of the above fails, open that bottle of beer/wine , sit down and relax. I fought with my siblings a lot when I was growing up and I now realize what we put our poor mother through, but we are now the best of friends and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. Like any child stage, remind yourself it will eventually pass and try to enjoy the good times as much as possible.



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5 thoughts on “Sibling Rivalry

    • That’s good ☺ I had it from the first day came home with my second child. My boy slapped her on the nose but on one hand he taught her to toughen up which is not a bad thing ☺ She can give as good as she gets now. It can be a nightmare at times !

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