Parents believe that going through the birth of one child and dealing with their growth have made them tough and strong. They are in for a surprise because when another joins the family, new challenges are going to reign. The first child is happiness, blessing, and peace; two are just double trouble, and the trouble keeps on piling up with the number of children. Regardless, they are worth it.
Siblings have a special bond with each other. Their comradeship knows no bounds when it’s them against the world–or parents–but they could also be each other’s fiercest opponents when it comes to as small a thing as a toy.
Stuck between these rivalries and friendship are the poor parents. They cannot just take sides, cannot forcefully separate them, and they definitely cannot stop them from speaking to each other. And this rivalry is not going to stop anytime soon, from their toddler years to their old age, the relation will somehow remain the same.
How most siblings act?
From their toddler years, older siblings often assume the role of a caretaker for the younger siblings. Boys act a little differently and have a unique way of showing their affection. Don’t be fooled, though; even these older toddlers tend to show little aggression towards their younger siblings occasionally; but before all this, there is this highly understandable jealousy. Eldest siblings, who have become used to being the centre of all the affection of the parents, when suddenly see it all get diverted to the little stranger in the house, cannot help but detest them. No worries, though; once the shock wears off; they presume the position of a ring leader.
Second born Children don’t usually have much choice other than copying every single move of their elder sibling. The imitational behaviour of the second child continues on till their toddler to middle years. During their teen years, though, the individual child begins to develop their own personality.
How parents should act:
The fights and rivalries of the younger children is a monster to deal with. Out of confusion, anger, irritation and frustration, parents tend to act a little wrong and while the fights and oppositions between the siblings are long but forgotten, the behaviours of parents are forever etched in mind. Therefore, parents always need to act as a team and behave calmly.
Here are a few ways in which parents should act during the siblings’ fight:
Don’t pay attention to the squabbling:
Most of the parents have learned that sometimes being patient is the only way to resolve the conflict. It works best to ignore and turn a deaf ear when children began to argue over something. There’s a high chance that the Children will try to involve a parent to be the judge, to which the parent can simply say “you figure it out”. This technique might take longer yet children will learn to solve work things out among themselves and will also let them know that they’ll only get their parent’s attention when they are on their best behaviour. Plus, point, parents do not come across as the bad guy in the situation.
Put down firm rules:
Something as little as a toy being taken or “mistakenly” pushing the sibling is going to turn your house into a battlefield. There is shrieking, shouting, and occasional hitting, and when things have already gone too far, a parent is called to play jury. While you as an adult would most likely know who was at mistake here and who needs to be set straight. If you feel like they can make truce themselves, stay out of the way, but if you really have to intercept, then lay firm rules and remind the Children that they have broken one of them with “We respect each other in this house” or “Name calling is prohibited in the house” and for breaking any of these rules there will be consequences.
Sometimes the Children get so angry that they are beyond reasoning and they need to have some time to think about their behaviour and also to cool things off, so instead of reasoning with them parents must send the child for a Time-out for as much minutes as their age is. 7 minutes for the 7 years’ one etc.
Many of you are going to cringe at this word but a thoughtful punishment is a part of proper parenting. Rules are rules and breaking those means punishment or else they’ll be broken every day. As far as punishments are concerned, they have to be soft and thought to thought-provoking. If one sibling hits the other twice a day, then a punishment is mandatory. Tell him to go to his room and ponder on his actions, or be the first one to apologize. If siblings are not getting along then send them to different rooms until they can behave.
Don’t play favourites:
If two of your Children are fighting, then both of them are at a mistake. Instead of playing favourites among the siblings ask them to resolve their problem and if they do, don’t forget to praise them for it too. This will only end the silly brought but will also help you as a parent to teach your children to be better problem solvers, to practice patience, be empathetic and learn to forgive the others quickly.
Most times the conflict is so small that it just needs to be forgotten not solved. So when Children began arguing over something petty; try humour. For instance, one parent suggested two of her Children that she is going to build a cage for the two of them and call one cat and the other the dog, and will also give them food, and as expected the children began to laugh before the sentence was finished.
We understand that suggesting patience when dealing with Children is a little too much to ask, but this patience will eventually tone down the nature of fights and Children will learn to be politer. As a parent though there will come a time when firmness will be required and they’ll have to become a bad guy.