Anyone dealing with sibling rivalry issues while in quarantine?!
I had four sons in five years (and two months). Sibling rivalry could have thrown me right over the edge… Imagine if I tried to make sure everyone had the exact same amount of syrup on their pancakes?!
Kids want to feel safe, loved, and attended to. And, I’d argue that trying to make everything “fair” is actually not fair to anyone because we are all unique individuals with distinct personalities, values and needs.
This is what saved me from a life of hiding in my closet every day – each request or need is individual and has nothing to do with his or her siblings. I’d say; If you want more of something, ask ME. Don’t worry about what your brother has. I may not always say yes. But, whatever he has… has NOTHING to do with you.
Comparing themselves to each other, in an attempt to get more stuff or more attention, simply didn’t work. Now, it doesn’t even occur to them to compare pieces of cake. If they want more, they can ask me. I may say, Sure, you can have another piece. Or, I may say, Actually, you had a milkshake at lunch, so you’re good with that, buddy.
Benefit: My children get a sane mother. And, they learn to ask themselves what they want. “Wait, do I care about a new jacket? Do I want one because my brother has one? Actually, I don’t like syrup. Can I have jelly instead?”
What kind of precedent are we setting for our children if they think life is always going to treat them fairly? What happens when their math professor gives twice as much homework as their roommate’s professor? Or they lose the big game even though they played their hardest?
Try asking yourself: What do you want them to LEARN? How do you want your kids to react to unfair circumstances? What happens when they encounter all the unfairness in the real world? Will they be prepared?
Like ALL of my parenting tips and tricks, I DON’T do it just because it results in less fighting. Nope. I do it because it makes being a mom far less stressful, far more fun, and I figure… since I’m going to be living in the same house with these humans for another 10 years, I’d MUCH rather be surrounded by kind, funny, creative, compassionate, independent kiddos than kiddos who are selfish, rude or disrespectful. Do it for yourself!
“Competition brings out the best in products and the worst in people.” – Faqimi Fauzi