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Sibling Rivalry

What the HELL!?! Because of COVID-19 , we as parents/guardians are home with children wondering, “What the Hell?” It has created stress and anxiety that perhaps has moved us into wondering, “Am I okay?” Let me tell you those feelings are normal. So I thought I would share with you occasionally some thoughts and even some tips on how to survive.

Let me start with the whole sibling rivalry issue. In most cases if we had asked our children if they wanted a new brother or sister the answer would be flatly, “No”. I worry more about siblings who do not fight than siblings who do fight. Okay, are you feeling like you are living in a normal family yet? Young children often are what the professionals call “egocentric”. Which means they view the world in terms of what they need not what anyone else needs. So when a new child enters the home children naturally fight for your attention and recognition. That is why so many squabbles occur.

Here are a few tips that might support you:

  • Avoid expecting young children to share very often. Provide multiples of the same. Thrift stores, yard sales are an excellent place for cheaper materials.

  • Have boxes or containers that are labeled with each child’s name. Let them help with the labeling. Each child places their toys, props, etc. in their own box or container. This gives ownership.

  • Avoid saying, “Remember we share with your brother and sister” This is not true. Let them decide if sharing is to occur. By the way they will change this rule frequently and that is okay. Just say, “You have decided this is no longer a share toy”.

  • Use cookie sheets, placemats, and flat cardboard for children to play on. Some children require their own place. This will prevent, “He is to close to me” and other comments that children make to show ownership.

These few tips will not totally remove sibling fights, but might prevent some of them. When you get that feeling of “What the Hell!” just remember children are thinking that also. Until next time, take a deep breath.

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