If you have kids that get along, then considered yourself the luckiest mom alive. If you don’t, then welcome to the real world, where all your dreams of your kids happily singing together is replaced by the reality of your kids fighting and trying to tear each other's faces off.
However, all is not lost. Here are 6 ways to help you handle sibling rivalry.
1. Listen to them when they complain
As a parent, you’ll be used to your kids complaining about each other. Most of the time, you might not put too much thought into it, when in fact, it’s the perfect opportunity presenting itself. The next time this happens and you know it will, make them sit together and, no matter how silly the problem is, talk it out. Maybe even use the classic ‘handshake method’ at the end to seal the deal.
2. Do not take sides
Even when you know one of your kids is right, do not take his/her side. This will only aggravate the other one further and you do not want that. Try explaining why you feel one is more reasonable than the other, instead of saying ‘you’re wrong’ to one of them.
3. Set limits
Most of the times, sibling rivalry is healthy. It only strengthens their bond. However. there might be times when your patience is tested multiple times and you just can’t take it anymore. So, just tell them how you expect them to behave. Disciplining your children is still the best method to make sure they behave appropriately.
4. Let them settle their own arguments
It is best not to meddle or get in between when your kids are having an argument, unless they come to you themselves. In most cases, they’ll exhaust themselves and come to an agreement about whatever they were arguing on. However, if you think the matter is big, then feel free to intervene.
5. Encourage team spirit
Make your kids do things together as a team. Nothing binds people together than having a common enemy. So, when you get them involved in team activities like sports or competitions, they’ll focus their energy on the other team and their bond also strengthens.
6. Let them take care of each other
Every time you want to do something for your kid, try having his/her brother/sister do it instead. Maybe your smaller kid has lost his/her toy and wants you to find it. Ask your older child to find it for him/her. It’ll give the older child a sense of responsibility and he/she will also start caring for his/her sibling’s emotions.