Arguments between siblings are one of the ways children learn how to be fair, to respect others and to resolve differences. Learning how to argue fairly without hurting anyone is a skill that will help them in future relationships. A rivalry between siblings has been around forever, but when it gets out of control and is left untreated, it can become a serious problem. The conflict may include hitting, kicking, name-calling and other types of verbal or physical aggression. Children may also fight about your love and compete for your attention. They can feel jealous if you seem to have more time for one child, or to treat one child differently to another. If children feel they are not treated fairly by parents they can sometimes be aggressive toward their siblings. This behaviour usually succeeds in getting parents’ attention. Managing sibling conflict can strain even the most patient parents. There are several factors that may contribute to sibling rivalry like the individual child’s temperament, treating children differently, marital distress between parents, environmental stressors, etc. However, if the symptoms begin to worsen, it is crucial to seek professional help at the earliest.
Worried that your children are exhibiting sibling rivalry:
- Do your children’s fights persist for more than a month?
- Do you sense intense feelings of jealousy between your children?
- Does your children’s behaviour with each other have an impact on the peace of the household?
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