Siblings Without Rivalry?

Is this really possible? We don’t believe so – however, there are ways that we as parents can help children deal with the intense feelings siblings have toward each other.

When a second baby comes into the family, it is sometimes compared to ourWeb_17 partner bringing a new lover into the home! This new person takes up an incredible amount of time and attention from the people/person who was the first child’s alone – a huge adjustment for anyone. No amount of cajoling about how great it will be for them to have a playmate (in 12 months time or longer) can make up for this change in position in the family.

One of the most important ways to positively respond to a sibling’s angry feelings toward their brother/sister is to accept their anger.  By this we mean, comments such as “yes it must be really hard for you when I need to feed ‘Lucy’ and you want me to play with you”.  No adding explanations such as “but Lucy’s only a little baby, she can’t feed herself”.  As rational as this is, we need primarily to let our child know we understand their FEELINGS and that these feelings are perfectly normal.

4 Responses to Siblings Without Rivalry?

  • Hi I am having trouble with my 2.5 yr old hitting her 6mt old brother I try to tell her it is not ok to hit and she can hit pillows instead of ppl but it doesn’t seem to be working, any advice

    • Hi Sally
      This is a really common problem. When this happens give all your attention to the baby and none to your toddler. After a couple of minutes, engage your toddler in something else. Ignoring unwanted behaviour discourages it – instead connect with her in a positive way. Spending one-on-one time with your toddler whenever you can is a great way to reduce the rivalry. Let me know how you get on!

      • Thanks for your advice. I have tried spending one to one time with my daughter and sometimes it works. My toddler was sensitive and highly strung before we had a sibling so we know this will take time. How do you explain to a toddler that she is feeling jelous and she just needs to wait her turn sometimes.

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