What Is Siblings Rivalry And How To Deal With It

Reasons and Solutions of Siblings Rivalry

If you have more than one kid, you know how stressful can siblings rivalry be. It is common for sisters and brothers to fight. It’s also normal for them to sometimes go from loving one another to detesting one another. It starts right after the children grow and start competing for everything. It goes from jealousy to competition before turning into constant fighting. Many siblings are lucky to become the best friends with their siblings however that’s not the case with everyone.

Children’s perspective shifts as they evolve, their changing needs can have a direct impact on how they respond to each other. It is stressful and disturbing to hear and see your children fight with each other. A home that is full of tension is upsetting to all. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to know how to avoid fighting or even how should you get involved. But steps can be taken to foster peace in your home and help your children get along. The rivalry between siblings is tough on parents and it is hard on children but it can be controlled.

Why Children Fight?

A wide range of things can make the siblings fight. Most siblings experience some level of desire, rivalry or jealousy and this may transform into quarrels and quibbling. In any case, different factors likewise may impact how frequently children fight and also how serious the fighting would become. These include:

Needs evolve. Changing wants, anxieties and personalities of children are normally affecting how they connect to each other. Infants, for example, are naturally defensive of their possessions and toys. So the older child may react aggressively if a baby sister or brother picks up the toy of the toddler. School-age children often have a great sense of fairness and equal treatment so they may not understand why other age siblings are treated any different or feel as if one child receives preferential treatment. This could increase rivalry between siblings. In contrast, teenagers develop a sense of independence and individuality and may resent giving a hand with household chores and responsibilities, caring for siblings or even spending time together. Such variations can influence how children fight each other.

Individual temperaments. The temperaments and unique personalities in your children play a big role in how good they understand each other including mood, disposition and adaptability. A kid who is particularly clinging and attracted to parents for love and comfort may be despised by siblings who observe this and want the same quality of care and attention, increasing rivalry between siblings.

Special needs or a sick child. Sometimes, a child’s special needs may require more parental time due to some emotional issues or illness. Other children may take up this difference and act to get some attention.

Role models. Children can take a strong example of how parents resolve discrepancies and problems. So if you and your partner work through difficulties in a manner that is productive, respectful and not quarrelsome, there is a higher chance that your kids will adapt and take on those methods when they face issues with each other. If your children see you shouting routinely, slam shut the doors and argue loudly when you’re having problems. they’re likely to adopt those bad habits and manners themselves

What Should You Do When Fighting Starts

While fighting between siblings may be commonplace, it certainly isn’t pleasant to anyone at home. A family can tolerate conflict only to a certain amount. So what measures should you take when the fight starts?

Whenever it is possible, don’t get involved. Stay calm, be quiet and keep yourself in control. Pay attention to what your kids are doing so you can intervene before a situation begins or escalates. Keep your cool, and your kids will learn to do the same. Only step in when there is a risk of physical damage. If you always interfere with rivalries between siblings, you take on the chance of creating other issues and problems. Children may start to expect your help instead of learning to figure out the solution to the issues by themselves. There is a risk/chance that you — unwittingly — will make a child think that another child is always “protected,” which can encourage greater resentment. Rescued children may feel they can do more and still be fine because a parent is always “saving”.

If you are concerned about the name-calling or the type of language used, it is appropriate to use appropriate words to coach kids about what they feel. This differs from intervention or separation of children.

Even then, empower them to solve problems on their own. Seek to fix issues for your children if you still want to step in, not for them.

When getting involved, certain precautions must be taken:

Separate children until they are calm. Sometimes it is best to give them some space and not to renew the fight immediately. Or else, the fight may escalate again. Wait until emotions have died out as this could become a great learning experience.

Don’t concentrate too much on trying to figure out the child responsible. It takes a minimum of two people to fight and anyone involved is partially responsible.

Note that children often develop valuable skills that benefit them for all their lives as they deal with conflicts — like how to respect the opinion of another person, how to cooperate, how to negotiate and also how to manage violent impulses.

Helping Children Get Along

Easy things that you should do every single day to stop fighting include :

Set the basic guidelines for appropriate behaviour. Tell the children to hold onto their hands keep them to themselves, so there’s no swearing, no name-calling others, no shouting, no door slamming. Ask for their feedback on the rules you set as well as the consequence of violating those rules. This teaches children that they are responsible for what they do, regardless of how the situation becomes or how uncomfortable they feel, and prevents any effort to compromise over who is right or wrong.

Treat kids fairly — not equally. Do not allow children to make you believe that everything should always be “equal” and “fair” – sometimes a child needs more than another child. For parents, fairness is essential. But fair doesn’t always mean equal. Punishments and rewards should be tailored to your children’s individual needs. For example, you don’t have to give two children the same toy. Instead, give them different toys suited to their ages and interests. That kind of fairness will go a long way.

Be vigilant in paying attention to the wants and needs of your children. For instance, if you want to walk outside or go to maybe a park, allow time for that too if another kid wants to sit and do some reading.

Make sure children have their own time and room to play with their toys, play with friends and relatives without having them share 50-50 of the activities.

Show your children and reassure them that love is not a small thing for you. Let them know that they are secure, essential and valued and that you will fulfil their needs.

Have fun as a family with one another. Whether it’s a movie, a board game or a ball, you are creating a fun approach for your children to spend precious time with each other. Most importantly, this will relieve tensions and also add to your involvement because many children are competing for parental affection, fun family events may help minimize conflict.

When your children often quarrel about things like the TV remote or video games, draw up a schedule which will show which child owns something at what time. (But take the “award” away completely, if they continue fighting about it.)

Recognize when children need time alone and the dynamics of the family. Try to arrange a time for each child to have separate dates for playing or activities. And if one child plays, you can spend one-on-one time with another.

Be aware that children often struggle to get the attention of a parent. Consider taking your own time in that case. The incentive to fight is gone when you leave. Also, consider transferring reins to your spouse who might be more patient at that particular moment when your fuse is running out.

Also read: Single parenting tips for moms

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on WhatsApp


  1. It is interesting to see why siblings fight. I have a rivalry with my brother, but there’s a lot to it. It is good to have a healthy rivalry to push each other to become better but if it is a toxic environment, something needs to be done. Thanks for sharing all of these tips!

    Nancy ♥

  2. I have four siblings and there have been plenty of healthy little rivalries but I agree that when things get out of hand, space needs to be established. Boundaries are as good as pushing each other to become better, so thanks for sharing your tips to keeping home happy!

  3. Some useful info here that even I can take on board. Sometimes in certain situations it is easier said than done to stay calm but with a few of these simple actions it may make situations less stressful. As a stay at home father to 5 daughters from 1yr to 9yrs we have a lot of disagreements and rivalry in the house, imaginable what these situations can become at times. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. These are great. I am pregnant with my first child, but I’m 25 and my sister is 21, and we have this ongoing jealousy fight. It’s quite ridiculous. It’s not really on my part but she has the worse temper and lashes out of my parents give me any praise, I’m married and don’t even live at home and she still acts this way. My mom is trying to find ways to cope, so I’m definitely going to refer her to this blog, because even older adults and older kids have these problems.

  5. These are great points. I have twin sisters, the funny thing about them is one minute they care about each other, the next minute they are fighting. The points noted here needs to be taken to properly assess the situation and help them. Thank you for these tips

  6. Good read. I too have a sister but never really had a sibling rivalry. We always stayed like friends understanding each other’s situations and always believed that she got what she deserved.

  7. This is great because I only have one baby but I’m planning to have the second one later on . I need some training with Brotherhood I have two brothers I never had a real rivalry but we fought like we throw each other’s clothes outside our house we were very harsh.

  8. This was great. I totally agree with you setting healthy boundaries is really important. I have two brothers and thankfully, I’m very close with both of them.

  9. I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your content. Your article
    has really peaked my interest. I will take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once a week.
    I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment