When my teenagers were small, they used to fight like cats and dogs and I would forever tell myself that it’s a phase and it will pass by:). The difference between them is nineteen months. Then, I didn’t think that this would be a never-ending phenomenon and I will live with it all my life. In 2006, when I was due for my daughter, my husband and I studied a lot about sibling rivalry as we were told by many friends to be aware of this.
When my husband came from his office the natural tendency was to take the little newborn in the arms. However, Doctor Spock had specified that the first child to be taken in the arms should be the elder one because he or she already understands emotions. I thank my stars that we followed this religiously, till my younger one learnt how to draw attention herself…LOL. I don’t know what would have happened if this strategy failed.
In the presence of this thought of handling sibling rivalry, I believe that we tend to be unnatural sometimes. When, one child acts as tall as a giraffe, and the other acts as wise as an owl then it becomes imperative for the mother to wear the skin of the lioness. And when the mom becomes the lioness, what should the dad become my dear friends? Yes yes…correct. The Lion. And then, what does your home become…True that…JUNGLE! And what happens in the jungle…a power game.
Dear friends, sibling rivalry can be handled at various levels but a power game can become dirty. And from parents, it can very easily percolate to the children. Let’s try to nip it in the bud and continuously keep reinventing a wheel that suits our family’s needs.
I am sharing a few facts, tips, tricks, triggers and more:-
1. Age of the children has nothing to do with sibling rivalry. A toddler is as adept in putting his or her point, as a teenager.
2. Gap between the siblings also doesn’t matter. Be it a couple of months or a decade, kids know how to put feet down with a bang.
3. It’s better to leave the kids on their own, during an argument. They do know how to sort out the differences among themselves.
4. The biggest devil is the comparison, which is very well avoidable, provided both parents are aligned and stay on the same page.
5. Undivided attention even if it is for a few minutes every day. This acts as a big solace and heals wounds of rivalry.
6. Allow Kids to spend some good time together, watching a movie, spending popcorn time or baking etc. It works, when they are left independently and they know parents are not available.
7. ‘Participation is more important than winning’. This mantra too works in handling some mild sibling rivalry.
8. Allow minimum intervention from extended family. If judgements come to play, then the going gets tougher!
9. A parents relationship with his / her sibling is also equally important. Sharing stories of rivalry or chivalry from your childhood helps. Kids happily relate to the current state of the relationship. (Please share only if you think it can be shared:)
10. Love your kids unconditionally. Treat them equally.
“You don’t choose your family, they are God’s gift to you as You are to them.” – Desmond Tutu
Cheers to Siblings
Guest Author: Sadaf Chaudhary
Sadaf Chaudhary is a Happiness Coach. She has about 20+ years of experience in dealing with the Happiness of children and women. She is an entrepreneur and a trainer too, not to forget, a passionate parent at heart.