Sibling Rivalry- Are You Encouraging It?
Sibling rivalry is hands down one of the harder things a parent can face.
That sweet adorable little child suddenly turns into the worlds cruelest villain right before your very eyes.
How is this possible?
You’ve raised them to be kind, respectful, and above all a good playmate. Why all of the sudden is this child treating the people in their own family with such hate?
Does the endless fighting, bickering, and unfair behavior have you at such a loss you don’t know where to turn? Don’t worry my friend. I completely understand. I have been where you are. The worst of all is I took every argument, spat, punch, slap, door slam, scream, and all and out brawl personally. I was miserable and confused as to why nothing I tried worked, sick of hearing my own voice being the judge of all the “he said”, “she did’s.” I was always asking for more details so I could take the right “side” and getting more and more flustered and down right angry at the mean and hurtful details I heard.
WHY WAS NOTHING WORKING?
I am a woman of action. I don’t have much patience for anything. So when I spin my wheels on a problem over and over and over and every day feels the same way I start to get extremely frustrated.
So I went looking for answers. I wanted to know how to do it right so that I could change the dynamic in my family once and for all.
I had a book buried somewhere in the back of my bookshelf. A book I had purchased back when I was pregnant with my second child, and second boy. I had read it, but it didn’t pertain to my sweet, loving and completely adorable boys…..(18 months and new born) *inset eye roll* But boy did it pertain to now!!! 5 kids 3 boys and 2 girls all sandwiched into ages 7-2. I devoured this book in 48 hours. I took notes and man did I apply my knowledge IMMEDIATELY.
One little book PACKED with more useful knowledge than any other book available.
But just in case you don’t want to purchase the book here are a handful of practical tips that you can start applying for your children who are at each other throats. Letting you give them the tools to start forming life long relationships without hatred, jealousy, or anger.
#1 The Comparing Trap
Comparing children is the fuel on the fire. Especially if your children are rivals. By asking a child why they can’t be more like their sibling, or even pegging them against each other causes more resentment and even hatred toward that sibling not less.
It can be easy to think that by showing the child who is lacking that they can be better like their sibling by comparing them. We might even think that we are helping them see their fault and see an example of how they can better themselves. But no one wants to be shown that they are lesser then someone else, especially someone they rival against. Stop the comparing trap.
#2 Never Asking Questions
Sometimes when it comes to parenting we are juggling so many things we don’t have time to ask the necessary questions. You aren’t always going to be in the room every time something happens that requires your parental attention. You may not have all the information to discipline the problem effectively. But if you’re anything like me, when time is short and your busy doing other things, you take the piece of the situation you heard. The “he hit me….” part, and don’t bother to ask why. You know what I mean! The “because she was throwing sand in my eyes!” part! When we ask the right questions we can find out the reason behind the behavior enough to effectively discipline without the resentment of not being heard.
#3 Sibling Rivalry & An Empty Love Tank
Most children are naturally sweet, loving people. They typically make naturally good choices to love unconditionally. But just like anyone when they aren’t feeling loved themselves they start to feel empty and misunderstood. I think we can relate to this. In our own way even we can become resentful and maybe even throw a mom fit.
Your child language of love may be different from yours, you may not speak the same love language, so finding out how your child receives love is crucial to his or her happiness and belonging.
You can learn your child’s love language by going here: Love Language Quiz for Kids
After you learn your child’s love language you can start to speak it. This will start to iron out so many problems between siblings and even quirky behavioral issues.
Parenting can be beautiful and difficult. Sibling rivalry can be so frustrating. Like all good things in life, it take work and strength to make it through the difficult times. But just the fact that you are finding ways to help you children through these times makes you the best mama they could possibly have.
Let me just take a second to encourage you today. Your little humans are so beautifully unique. God has a beautiful and special plan for them. And He made you their mama on purpose. Because He knew you had the strength of character and resilience to raise them to be who He needs them to be. Keep giving their little souls back to Him. And remember to ask Him to guide you! You’ve got this!
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