How to Prevent Sibling Rivalry

The emotional development of a child depends on a lot of factors, including his/her position and importance in a family setting. If you have more than one child, it is important that you create a balance between them and resolve their issues in such a manner that sibling rivalry is not encouraged. Preventing this will not only mean less fights and a generally peaceful house, but better coordination and bonding between the siblings as well, which will help them in the long run.


  • 1

    Don’t get involved in everything

    If you see your children fighting or arguing, you might naturally feel the tendency to pitch in and resolve the issue. However, by doing so, you are automatically putting yourself in a position where you will have to side with someone or at the very least, hold someone responsible for the argument. Instead, it is recommended that you let the children resolve their issues on their own without your influence.

  • 2

    Promote a positive code of conduct

    If you really do want to use your influence positively, you should encourage adherence to a positive code of conduct between the siblings. For instance, you can set down rules that encourage healthy interaction and emphasize on the importance of giving respect, treating each other politely and exercising tolerance. Your insistence on positive interactions will benefit the siblings and they will learn to resolve their issues in healthy ways.

  • 3

    Never compare

    Comparing people is always a bad idea, be it adults or children. If you give into comparisons you create an atmosphere of resentment and pressure. The child you side with might feel pressured or guilty for making the other look bad or wrong. Likewise, the child compared less favorably might start resenting the other sibling and assigning blame for his failure.

  • 4

    Realize individual personalities

    Not every child has the same likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses and talents. It is important that you treat every child of yours in accordance with his/her own personality. One of the major mistakes parents make is to treat a younger sibling the same as the elder one, without realizing that his/her needs and capabilities might be different. If you impose something on one child, he will automatically start feeling unimportant and will resent the other sibling. The same goes for education and academic choices. You should not force a child to take the same course of education as another sibling and let them make their own choices with your advice and supervision.

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