When you have more than one child, chances are you have found yourself caught in the middle of the crossfire of sibling rivalry quite a few times throughout your parenting career. “Mom, He hit me!” “He took my toy!” “She called me meany..” Sounds familiar?
“Our children form their image of who they are from the words they hear—and words that come from an older sibling often have more credibility than those from parents,” says Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of UnSelfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World.
Before having kids, I had this fantasy that my children would just magically get along and become each other’s best friends. Now, I realize that reality is a lot different and that sibling relationships can get a little tricky. Factors like a child’s temperament as well as your relationship as a parent with each child all can have an impact. While your youngest feels inadequate, your firstborn probably wonders if you love her as much as you love the little one. Then, there is the middle child syndrome which just makes you just want to separate all the kids.
We don’t make things easier on ourselves as well. Most of us are busy moms, and our schedules are jam packed. So, dealing with children bickering throughout the day can get very stressful and overwhelming at times. Don’t you just wish that your children would just “get it” and learn how to manage conflicts among themselves? I know I would.
But we have to also understand that these skills are not necessarily “built in” and they are actually quite complex skills to learn. Alhamdullilah, we can help our children build their relationships with each other by using a few simple but effective strategies.
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