Sibling jealousy and sibling rivalry are a parent’s worst nightmare, and are a very common problem. Sibling rivalry is very common in nature, as baby birds will push siblings out of the nest, and sharks will eat the weakest one before birth. This makes sense in nature since there is a limited food chain. Human children still have sibling jealousy and rivalry, but it’s not over food in most cases. They are usually after the limited attention of their parents. This happens with both twins, and children born at different times.
While this jealousy is a part of human nature, there are some things that parents can do to ease some of the sibling rivalry and sibling jealousy, before it becomes a huge problem.
The worst thing for sibling jealousy is to have the children know that you prefer one child over the other, and that one is easier to raise. This is challenging for most parents, but you should never show any signs of favoritism.
2. Be a Parent
Being a parent is a full-time job, so do not expect a day off. There will be times when you are exhausted, but you still need to give the same time and amount of attention to each child. Eventually, you may have to give up your “Me” time, to do this.
3. Not everything needs to be shared
Many parents have their children share everything. This is really not a good idea. You should have each child pick out the toys that are only theirs, and then decide what toys that all the children can share.
4. Never Compare
It is be easy to compare the younger child to the older child. However, this leads to them feeling less important, and gives them the impression that they are not good enough for you, or other people. Children are constantly learning and growing, so they have a lot more feelings than adults and most times do not know how to deal with them. Sibling jealousy has pushed people to their limits, and can lead the younger child to have a bitter attitude towards their siblings, and even parents, throughout their adult lives.
5. Be Prepared
There are many times in life when you will have to treat one child as more important than the other. Sporting events, birthdays, holidays and family gatherings all occur in a child’s lifetime. Set rules about these events and how the children should behave on these special days. This will make these days easier to deal with. You should still be ready for meltdowns since no matter the age of the children, meltdowns still can happen.