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  • Sam DiFranco

How To Head Off Sibling Rivalry.


Siblings, who can figure them out? One minute they hate each other, the next minute they’re each other’s best friend. They insult each other horribly but rise to each other’s defense if an outsider bothers one of them. Siblings support each other and wish each other the best, that is, during those rare moments when they’re not out to beat each other in some real or concocted competition. Love and hate, closeness and distance, respect and loathing: for complexity, nothing beats the relationship between siblings.

Regardless of age, gender, and temperament difference, all siblings fight sometimes. And although children deserve the right to have their differences, its certainly a reasonable goal for a parent to want to decrease the frequency and intensity of sibling conflict and lessen its impact on family life.

Here are a list of things you can do to help:

*Don’t play favorites- the sibling at the short end of the stick will feel that he/she has to fight for your love

*Spend one-on-one time with each child- making time for each sibling goes a long way to ease feelings of competition

*Don’t pressure your children to get along- If they learn to respect, support, and be kind to each other, it is a successful relationship

*Stop keeping score- trying to be completely even handed is not only impossible, but it intensifies the competition

*Set a good example- the way you interact with your spouse, other adults, and with your children will be used as a model

For information on how we can help your family solve these conflicts visit our website or give us a call to set up an appointment with an experienced counselor! (813) 244-1251

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