Sibling rivalry is a big issue faced by many parents. Even when children grow up, these petty issues turn into major family troubles. When I was young, I always felt that my parents didn’t love me as much as they loved my baby sister. Even after growing up, that spirit of competition persisted. The feeling that maybe my parents only loved her and not me. When I had my kids, I realised that parents give extra attention to younger kids because they are more dependent on parents for their every need. This doesn’t mean that the older child should feel left out.
I had heard so many stories of sibling rivalry. This made me anxious about the relationship my kids would share when I became pregnant for the second time.
I made sure to include the older one in taking care of the younger one, like asking them to choose which dress the baby must wear after his bath, which toys we should buy for baby etc. It was easy until the younger one grew up and started wanting to make his own choices.
Then I read about a hack a mom used to build the bond between her children. She never initiated competition among her kids. She always made them work as a team. It was never who would write faster or get ready first. She gave them a time frame to work. “Finish homework in thirty minutes”, “Get ready in thirty minutes” etc. Then everyone would be congratulated equally for achieving the task in the given time. The older kids would get ready and help younger ones to get dressed. Younger kids would help older ones by getting the needed books from the shelf, and thus everyone was a winner. I found this advice very helpful.
Here are some of the things the kids will learn from such an upbringing
- The kids will learn to do things themselves.
- They will learn the importance of time.
- They will learn to help those in need.
Most importantly, they will learn how to work in a team and not be competitive towards their siblings.
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