Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry issues among children is one of the problems most frequently raised by parents. There are several explanations for this phenomenon. Each child wishes to have most of the attention from the parents. Regardless of the amount of attention they receive, children usually perceive their brothers or sisters as getting more than themselves. Children instigate, portray and set up situations that seemingly force parents to select the right, correct, best or innocent child while the other child(ren) are expected to be reprimanded, punished or in some fashion sent away. Upon careful investigation parents are likely to find the children managed their relationship without assistance throughout the day and were subject to this arguing just prior to the parent walking in the door. The dynamic that is really at play here has very little to do with the siblings. It has much more to do with the child's feeling of need for the parent. Parents are encouraged to assure each child of their affection, security and importance. However, it is very important that the child experiences the parent's affection independently of their bid for favoritism. If the child feels they've won the parent, they will repeat this many times. Parents are encouraged, when sibling arguments continues to be particularly problematic, to remove the children's goal and require the children to work out their relationship between one another or before their goal is returned them. For example, children fighting over the choice of a TV show may have the TV turned off until they develop a fair plan between themselves(not requiring the parents participation as judge or referee). If parents find the sibling rivalry they are contending with to be unyielding to their attempts to correct it they are welcomed to call to schedule an appointment.

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