Siblings at War in Your Home? (Declare a Ceasefire Now!)

“Sibling rivalry is normal in families with more than one child. It becomes a problem when one child bullies or dominates the other. It’s also a more complex issue than it first appears. On the surface, you have two kids who are “at war”—who bicker constantly and don’t get along. There can be many reasons for this, but at the core of this rivalry is a common theme that runs through it all: the sense that one sibling is the victim of the other and somehow “less than.” And that child often believes that he gets less love from his parents than his dominant brother or sister does.”

Siblings at War in Your Home? (Declare a Ceasefire Now!)

ibling rivalry is a difficult and sometimes painful issue for many families, but here’s the bottom line: rivalry and jealousy are a normal part of life. Your responsibility is to help your kids learn to manage the feelings that come along with it. If they don’t, these issues will get carried over into adult life. The feelings of injustice, unfairness, and victimhood that accompany sibling jealousy become even more crippling to contend with later on. By following a few simple strategies, you can work with your kids to manage sibling rivalry and broker a peace treaty in your home today.

Here’s the bottom line: rivalry and jealousy are a normal part of life. Your responsibility is to help your kids learn to manage the feelings that come along with it.

The Bullying Sibling
Don’t confuse bullying with normal sibling rivalry. So before I give you techniques for dealing with everyday sibling rivalry, I want to discuss kids who engage in what I call the “bully-victim” dynamic. One kid is the bully—usually the one who is older or stronger—and he picks on his other sibling constantly. Because of this aggression, the child who’s being picked on often develops antagonizing methods of getting back at the bully. Since the child being teased can’t stand up to the bully directly, he develops ways of getting revenge on his more aggressive sibling by saying things under his breath or calling him names.

If one of your children bullies his siblings and has  to be the boss and control others to the point of getting physical, it indicates  some underlying self-doubt and serious errors  in thinking. He is somehow justifying being hurtful to others in order to make  himself feel better. In these cases, you have to hold all of your kids  responsible when there is an argument, but you have to hold the bully  responsible for any aggression over and above the bickering. Give consequences to every child who was involved, but if there’s a bullying situation, you have to take a stand. And I don’t mean take sides as if you don’t love both of your kids. You have to say “There’s going to be no bullying here. There’s going to be no cursing at each other. There are serious consequences for that behavior.”

Read more: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/siblings-at-war-in-your-home-declare-a-ceasefire-now/

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