Valerie is my name. I come from a family of two girls. I am the youngest to Vanessa. I am 17 years while Vanessa is 19. Every Saturday morning, we both have our individual chores to attend to. Over the years, I observed that once it’s time to carry out our chores, my sister will always complain of stomach pain, headache or feverish condition. Thus, I ended up doing her chores with mine inclusive. This became a norm that my mom saw nothing wrong with my sister’s action, instead she will say am the youngest so I should do all chores and that it’s a sign of respect. Really?
To worsen the case, she always got the largest share of privileges, gifts and lesser punishments. This made me furious and made me believe that my mother loved my sister better than me. Hence, I and Vanessa were always at loggerheads.
One would wonder, if we are in a society were siblings rivalry is almost a way of life in families.
Hence, the following tips will help manage sibling’s rivalry:
Do not make comparisons. Take for instance, “When your older brother Seun was 6, he could bathe himself properly, you are 8 and you can’t do anything for yourself.”
Hey! Kids hate comparisons. Every child is unique in their own way. Thus, focus on their strengths and develop strategies to help manage their weaknesses.
In other to avoid arguments from being a norm in the lives of siblings, set clear boundaries on how siblings should behave to themselves. Hence, closely monitor siblings so as to eliminate unnecessary aggression of one over the other.
Constantly remind them that they are siblings and they need to show themselves love and respect for each other. If kids are taught the right values, there will be healthy relationships among siblings
Do not be partial. Hence, do not take sides when your kids report a misunderstanding to you. Be fair in your judgement and encourage them to settle future differences themselves.
Shun favouritism, do not prefer or favour one child over other(s), this will encourage siblings rivalry. Do not be unfair when sharing gifts and chores. Everyone should be treated equally. Thus, this is to avoid whining like “Mummy it’s unfair”.
Kids are diverse in nature. Take for instance, you can have two kids, one could be an introvert and the other one an extrovert. It is advisable to have an individual personal interaction with each of them so they could tell you what they don’t like about each other’s character. Hence, you call a meeting with your kids and without bias address issues maturely and encourage them to relate well as siblings.