Sibling Rivalry, A Fact of Life

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Many things in family life are inevitable; sibling rivalry is one of them-the older brother taking a subtle swipe at his baby sister's head for chewing on his toys; the baby wailing, yet again, because his older sister is sitting on his mommy's lap and he wants to sit there, too. Sometimes, it may get too chaotic that at weak moments, you may wish the earth would open up and swallow you.  Take heart, though.  What you are going through as a parent is normal, even expected.  Dealing with your tots' frequent battles may be difficult sometimes, but not impossible.

Quarrelling is an inevitable part of sibling relationships.  It is normal for siblings to be rivals and competitors on some days, and be friends and companions on most days.  But when the quibbling siblings are toddler-age and younger, their relationship may be more complex; while still short on social skills (being biologically unable to share and take turns, for example, these sibs have loads of egocentricity (me, mine and never yours.  Tots as siblings have a ticking time-bomb relationship.

Rivalry is what happens when two people have their eye on the same thing-in your tots' case, it's your love and attention.  Sibling rivalry is a competition inside the family for attention, approval and time with parents.  It could mean that each is convinced the other receives more love, attention and acceptance from mom and dad. When this happens, siblings turn everything into a competition and end up fighting over trivial matters.

Well, the only sure way to prevent sibling rivalry is to have just one child.  No matter how fairly you treat both your offspring, you cannot possibly eliminate all rivalry; it exists even in the best of sibling relationships.

And it's not all bad, this rivalry.  Apart from your tots getting early training for martial arts, sibling rivalry also gives them practice in social skills and conflict resolution-valuable gifts to have in the real world.

It is a fact of life that siblings will quarrel with each other.  It is up to you to let these fights end on a happy note.
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