Ever since I began my journey towards positive parenting, I have wondered what it would be like to have more than one child. Would the same strategies that have been a godsend for me, be just as effective with two or three children? The teacher in me says Absolutely! But of course, as a parent, I don’t have first-hand experience with more than one.
That’s why I hope you enjoy reading today’s post on handling sibling rivalry in a positive way – from an experienced mom of two, and fellow blogger Aradhana Pandey.
I am a mother of two darling little angels and it’s been a wonderful journey ever since it began. Over the past five years of being a mom, I have seen myself evolve and grow on numerous levels. It’s become impossible for me to imagine how life without my kids would have shaped up.
Though motherhood is such an enriching and gratifying experience, it can get equally challenging and overwhelming.
When you have more than one child, especially, your responsibility increases manifold, beyond giving your kids a good education, wholesome nutrition, and excellent values. Your responsibility also lies towards ensuring that your kids get along, stand by each other through their thick and thin and establish a lifelong bond.
Though sibling rivalry is common during childhood, studies suggest that too much of it, too often can deeply ingrain the feelings of anxiety, anger and depression in kids even until adulthood.
Here are a few tips on how you can handle sibling rivalry without losing your mind!
5 Tips for Handling Sibling Rivalry Positively
1. Avoid Taking Sides
I believe that the most important thing to keep in mind during an argument between your kids is to avoid taking sides. Giving one child the green flag and the other child your angry stares, instead of solving the problem, is bound to intensify it further.
One child will feel like the winner of the argument while the other child will feel frustrated because you didn’t favor him. The best way to approach any argument or fight that your kids have with each other is to play neutral.
2. Encourage Them To Practice The “1-10” Counting Technique
Kids often don’t have control over their emotions and tend to react hastily to situations when things don’t go their way. Encourage your little ones to adopt calming practices whenever they experience negative emotions like anger, anxiety and sadness.
Ask them to count 1-10 before reacting to an unpleasant situation. Teach them mind conditioning techniques like positive affirmations and meditation, that’ll do wonders to calm their mind. These practices are sure to prevent your kids from losing their cool at each other for every little thing.
3. Give Your Elder Child Greater Responsibility
Entrusting responsibility on your elder child is also important to reduce the frequency of fights between your kids. Avoid limiting his/her responsibility only towards protecting younger siblings.
Urge him/her to extend his responsibility to a variety of other activities like helping you pick out groceries, serving the guests, laying the table, etc. These habits, if ingrained at an early stage, will help your elder child feel empowered and encourage him to make sensible choices in all matters, including those concerning his sibling.
4. Encourage Your Kids To Sort Out Their Differences By Themselves
The more you interfere in the fights your kids have amongst each other, the greater are the chances of them being dependent on you to play the peacemaker each time. Doing this will not equip them with the skills of problem-solving and coming to a consensus by themselves, which can, in turn, impact their other present and future relationships with their peers and superiors.
Teach them the right way to deal with common issues like bullying and teasing and then let them handle the problem on their own.
5. Talk To Your Kids About Their Emotions
Encourage your kids to express their emotions, both positive and negative to you, every day. Listen as they speak to you about their feelings intently and help them come up with a suitable solution to whatever conflict, whether internal or external that they are facing. This practice will prevent your kids from bottling up negative emotions within, which can manifest into bigger and more serious clashes between each other.
These practices have helped me a great deal in maintaining peace at home and ensuring that my kids support each other at every step, not bring each other down. That said, there are instances when my kids get into heated arguments, due to the silliest of reasons, but that’s a part of growing up. Eventually, it’s heartening to see them make up. They have an understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong, which according to me is most crucial.
Do you agree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Today’s blog post was written by my guest: Aradhana Pandey.
Aradhana is from India. She is a veteran writer on topics concerning parenting, child nutrition, wellness, health and lifestyle. As a regular contributor to popular sites like Huffington Post, Natural news, Elephant journal, Thehealthsite, Naturally Savvy, Curejoy and MomJunction.com, Aradhana writes to inspire and motivate people to adopt healthy habits and live a stress-free lifestyle.
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Wishing you all the best in your parenting journey,