Rivalry Between Siblings

I prefer to avoid the ER.

There is another -er that is good to avoid. The suffix, er. The er  that comes at the end of a verb:





When we compare our kiddos to one-another we can do some damage. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

It’s true. Comparison can turn admiration into envy and jealousy. 

 Sibling rivalry is as old as… well… time. It occurred in the very first family with Adam and Eve’s boys, Cain and Able.
 Our kids will not get along perfectly, but we can squelch sibling rivalry by doing these 7 things:

1. Avoid the -ers. Don’t compare your kids or put them into a competitive situation where one is the winner and one the loser. Save the competition type events  for peer  interactions.

2. Train your kids to speak and act with kindness to one-another. This is the simplest and best way to encourage  a good relationship.

3. Appreciate and value each person’s strengths.

4. Exert effort in family and sibling play time. We make a huge effort to organize play dates for our kids with other children, why not with their siblings?

5. Have your kids work together. Shared effort and maybe even shared feelings (good or bad) about a chore will draw kids together.

6. Create some family traditions so  your kids will have some similar memories.

7. Build empathy into the relationship. “I remember when you were Jacob’s age and you got into my stuff just like your little brother is getting into yours.” Kids love stories about when they were younger and a little bit of a rascal!

We can have great influence on our kids’ relationship. If we avoid having a “favorite” and  make efforts to build up each child so they feel secure, they will be less likely to be resentful of their sibling and a loving relationship is more likely to grow. Hurtful messages or unwise words may not send a child to the Emergency Room but they can create a big wound. How we speak to our kids and about our kids has a great impact on their heart and psyche.

My children will always be siblings but I want them to be lifetime friends as well. I can can do my part to encourage that relationship.

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 17:17

Click here for a  related post about what parents do that actually increases or breeds sibling rivalry.

Lori Wildenberg
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Lori Wildenberg

Lori is a licensed parent-family educator, co-author of three parenting books, and co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting. Her first solo venture, Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home is to be published May 2017. For more information visit LoriWildenberg.com. You can also Contact Lori to schedule her for a seminar, retreat, or speaking event. Go to www.loriwildenberg.blogspot.com to subscribe to her Eternal Moments blog.
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