Some psychologists point out that sibling rivalry can have some major positive benefits, even though at times it may look rude. Often, siblings disagree and disputes between them may end up in a loud argument or even in a fight. However, such experiences help them to practice things that will be very much useful when they grow older, for example social skills or conflict resolution skills.
Sibling rivalryinvolving toddlersis a little trickier than rivalry involving older children. Toddlersare highly vulnerable to any physical impact. It is also extremely hard to understand the underlying reasons causing toddler conflicts . Still there are ways to keepsibling rivalryunder control, minimize the hostility level betweentoddlersand improve their relationship in general.
Some techniques that can be used are the following:
1.Monitor their behavior for any signs of aggression.In case you spot such signs it’s better to start acting. However, you don’t want to act rash here, try to avoid placing blame on anyone involved. After all, they have to learn to manage their conflicts themselves and to come up with a resolution.
2.Do not intervene too early.That means when another disagreement between yourtoddlers occurs, try to avoid getting involved and let them figure out the ways to solve the problem on their own. Simple restriction does not resolve the problem, at the end of the day it can only aggravate the issue.
3.At the same time, restrain any physical aggression between toddler siblings.They have to know it’s absolutely unacceptable to hurt each other. Don’t tell any of the two it’s his/her fault. Again, let them spill all the blames, call all the names, etc. The only thing you can do is to try to push them a little towards reaching a “peace treaty”.
4.Avoid competition for parents’ attention, toys, computer, etc.Instead, try to think of the ways you can make the two cooperate. A good idea is to organize siblings in a team. They can build a toy house, clean their room together, and then get and share a valuable reward. That is one of the best cures againstsibling rivalry. If you can make them work together, they will be more likely to nurture emotional connection to one another and to become real friends.
5.Remember, that you are a role model for you kids, do not be surprised to see theirrelationshipgets worse if you argue with your most loved all the time.Toddlers normally copy their parents’ behavior; therefore, avoid calling names to your spouse or shouting. Set a good example for your kids. Stay positive while dealing withtoddlersand theirrelationship. Reward your kids with praise for good behavior. In case ofsibling rivalry, complement your kids for coming up with resolutions that will be fair for both sides on their own. Goodrelationship between yourtoddlersmay not start in one day. Usually it takes years for the siblings
to realize they are partners rather than rivals. Parents support, teamwork, and time helps your siblings to become best friends.
6.Do not be scared if your kids try to hurt each other:that may sound outrageous, but such behavior is normal fortoddlers. Whatever the cause, it is important that parents foster a good relationship between siblings, and make sure that any conflicts do not damage their relationship. Follow these tips, share your love equally between your kids and be consistent with the methods you choose .