Sibling rivalry arises when siblings feel the need to compete with one another to gain the parents' favor.
Sibling rivalry arises when siblings feel the need to compete with one another to gain the parents' favor. A child feels that by being outstanding, she is loved more. To overcome this problem, make all your children feel that each is individual and special. When they have the confidence of your love, the tendency to rival each other for your affection is reduced.
Sometimes, sibling rivalry arises from the parents' acts of favoritism. A parent may favor a son or daughter over the other, thus creating the circumstances for the biased child to compete with the apple of the eye. More often, it is the gender preference at work, creating bias for the long awaited boy or girl.
At other times, parents compare children and lavish more love on the " better " child. They see that child as their achievement and are proud of him / her. The " less perfect " child is something of a shame to them. When the slighted child feels this, it spurs the kid to strive harder for the parents' love. Competition is tense and sometimes terse.
The sad fact is that sometimes no amount of human effort on the child's part is sufficient to shift the attention into equilibrium. The child who doesn't understand this will continue to strive for " perfection ". The child who realizes that any expansion of effort on her part is futile will become bitter and resent her sibling for having usurped more than the fair share of parental love.
The parent who is guilty of playing child favoritism should exercise conscious efforts to make amends. Talk to your children and assure them that you love each one for their special traits. Try to cultivate sibling relationships to help them love each other. This will lessen their feelings of jealousy and envy when a parent is spending time with any particular child.
If you have a difficult child, spend more time with him, while enlisting the help or cooperation of your other children. Get them to understand that the basis of your stand is not favoritism but help for the weaker child. When they too are involved with their sibling, they will be sharing your attention as well and won't feel left out.
Some children are born with disabilities or imperfections. This is not a judgement on you. You shouldn't see it as your failure and reject that kid. Difficult kids are tough to accept but you have no other choice. If you don't bring them up properly, they will pose inconvenience to you, themselves and to society. Every child is a distinct individual who deserves his fair share of parental love. He needs the chance to nurture and develop his full potential.
Avoid comparing children with their siblings. You'll be setting the scene for sibling rivalry. The children have their strong and weak points. As parents, we can try to help them by nurturing their weaker aspects so as to realize their maximum capabilities.
Lastly, siblings as children tend to fight and quarrel as part of their childhood and growing up process. They behave horribly towards each other. There is bound to be conflict and competition in sibling relationships. Don't feel guilty if they squabble once in a blue moon.