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Parenting and Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry is a common phenomenon where siblings compete, argue, or fight with each other. It can occur at any age, but it is more common in childhood and adolescence. The causes of sibling rivalry can vary, but some common reasons include jealousy, competition for parental attention or resources, differences in personalities or interests, and the need for individuality and independence.

The reasons for sibling rivalry can be diverse, including differences in age, gender, personality, interests, and the way parents treat each child. For example, a younger sibling may feel envious of the older one because they get to do things they are not allowed to do, while the older sibling may feel ignored or neglected because their parents are too busy taking care of the younger one.

Sibling rivalry can have both positive and negative effects. On one hand, it can motivate children to excel in various areas and teach them important life skills such as conflict resolution, negotiation, and communication. It can manifest in various ways, such as arguing, teasing, physical fights, exclusion, and competing for achievements. It can also have negative consequences, such as a decrease in self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and relationship problems later in life.

To manage sibling rivalry, parents can try a few strategies such as setting clear rules and boundaries, recognizing and acknowledging each child's unique strengths and weaknesses, encouraging cooperation and teamwork, and providing individual attention to each child. It is also essential to avoid comparing siblings, taking sides, or showing favoritism, as this can worsen the situation. It can also be helpful to teach siblings conflict resolution skills, encourage them to express their feelings in a constructive way, and foster opportunities for them to bond and cooperate with each other.

Ultimately, it is important for parents to create a positive and supportive family environment that fosters healthy relationships between siblings, even in the midst of occasional conflicts and disagreements.

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About the Author: Yvonne Wonder

As the founder and managing director of Destination Sitters, LLC, a national hotel and event babysitting service, and the mother of two children, I strongly believe that family comes first. I personally needed babysitting when I moved to San Diego 14 years ago. Like most parents, I assumed there were standards for temporary babysitting; in reality, there are no state standards or licensing requirements for temporary babysitting. The idea for Destination Sitters was born! I wanted to Give Parents Peace of Mind® when traveling with their children, so I created strict screening requirements for the sitters we refer. There is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from getting great professional help to care for your children, especially when traveling away from home. I and my partners, along with our office staff, have that one goal in mind with everything we do. Through the years of working with children, I have been inspired to write three books, and this blog for parents’ and children’s wellbeing. I believe the best way to teach a child is leading by example, with love, honesty, integrity, compassion, perseverance, and personal responsibility. Learning these values and teaching children that all women and men are equal will encourage them to dream big to be anything they want to be! An entrepreneur for over 35 years, I previously spent years running a construction and design company with two offices in California and built million-dollar estates and remodeled existing ones. For three and half years, I was one of the primary designers on HGTV’s Curb Appeal. I have also been published in books, magazines and newspapers, and have been a featured designer in multiple showcase houses.

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