Wednesday Wisdom: Sibling Rivalry-Is It All Bad?

April 16, 2008 at 7:24 am | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

Sibling Rivalry-Is It All Bad?

My two youngest children have quite an active sibling rivalry.  At times it is painful for me to be around.  They will antagonize, compete, and sometimes even get a little physical with each other.  Can any of this be good?  If it is good, is it necessary to just let it go on?  How can sibling rivalry be transformed into positive growing energy that illuminates the GEM in each of your children? 

The first and most important message to understand is that every child is a gem.  And each gem is different from any other.  I know this is my motto, but it is extremely important to understand.  Sibling rivalry is your child’s way of trying to express some form of individuality.  Through their squabbles and combats, your children are learning their own space.  Who they are and what they are good at.  But this is often at the expense of their sibling.

If the normal day to day activities of your children is filled with squabbling, taunting, and just plain being mean to each other and their rivalry is creating stress and ruining each other’s self esteem don’t jump in and solve everything.  Give your children some parameters with in which to solve their problem.  Guide them to the solution, but do not give it to them. 

Let them write a story, do a puppet show, or draw a picture that shows the solution. 

As they are in the process of creating the solution, always remember your children are learning independence and hopefully creating a long lasting mature high self-esteem.  At all times, keep in your mind the inner beauty of your each of your children.  Often parents want to be sure to be fair to their children.  And to them this means being equal at all times.  Rather than be equal, try to think about what is best for each child.  If necessary, look to see what compromise will best suit each member of the family. 

There are times when a compromise is simply out of the question.  Don’t fret and get all-anxious.  When you do this you are giving a clear signal to your kids that you are an open target for them to try out who is best, most powerful, and who can get their own way. 

When there is no compromise available then you need to understand the dynamics of raising your family’s self esteem.  In most situations one child will benefit from a specific situation, while nothing is actually gained or lost for the other child.  Be clear in your head about this.  Ask yourself, “Who will benefit from this?  Will any thing detrimental happen to my other child(ren) if I allow this?”  Then when you speak to your children, they will intuitively understand that you have not set up a competition.  You have made a decision based on what is best. 

As you develop the strategy to look for what is best, what brings high self-esteem to your children; you will separate yourself from their competition.  As you do this you will actually diffuse their interest and need to have a rivalry. 

As your children begin to feel that you are guiding from love and the knowledge that they are each a perfect gem, yet different from each other, they will have less need to try and out perform each other.

Enjoy your day!

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