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Raising Children Topics..

You are here : home > Raising Children > Relation between Siblings > Dealing with Sibling Rivalry

Dealing with Sibling Rivalry

Is there sibling rivalry between your children? Read on to know what sibling rivalry is and how to deal with fights between siblings. Find some sibling rivalry solutions in this interesting article. Read how parents can reduce and control sibling rivalry.

At times, your children might adore each other and at other times they may seem to hate each other. Although,sibling rivalry exists, there are many cases where siblings are best friends too.

What is Sibling Rivalry?

Sibling rivalry has existed since ages, ever since the existence of families itself. Siblings fight, sometimes they get jealous of each other and even have feelings of competitiveness with each other. Sometimes, the reason for the sibling rivalry could be to compete for the attention and love of one parent or both. Some children are very close to their parents and want the mother and father only for themselves. They do not want to share the parents with anybody else.

Reasons for Sibling Rivalry


One of the most common reasons for sibling rivalry is want for attention. One child might feel jealous of the other child because he feels that the other one is getting more attention from parents.


Sometimes the big age gap between children can become a reason for siblingrivalry. When the children are younger, they might be happy to play with each other. But as they grow older, their differences increase. An example of this would be the following. An older sibling might bring their friends home, but the younger sibling might constantly intrude upon them and not give them space. The younger sibling may also want to be there along with them in the same room which may make the older sibling angry and irritated and thus result in a fight between the two.

Opposite Sex

Fights between children of opposite gender are common. Generally fathers are more protective and gentle towards daughters which the sons may not like and feel bad about.


A common reason for sibling fighting is fight over belongings. The younger sibling might have snatched the toys of the other sibling. The parents may have brought a set of dolls for their two daughters. Fights could arise because each sister wants the nicer and prettier doll. If the siblings are older, and there is only one computer in the home, it can lead to a fight over who gets to sit on the computer.

Individual temperament and tastes

Differences in personality may also be a reason which causes fights. Onesibling may be very calm and composed and the other one may be one who gets excited easily. If siblings are sharing a room and one sibling is very fond of music and wants to play loud music, but the other sibling does not like loud music, it may result in a fight.

Common Mistakes Parents Make

These are some dont’s for parents facing sibling rivalry:

Do not make comparisons

Do not for example say, when Tapu was your age he used to stand first in the class every time. Every child is unique and no child likes to be compared to other children. Comparisons might lower self-esteem and act as a catalyst for more sibling rivalry. Comparisons may hurt feelings and sadden the child who is being compared.

Do not play spectator

Sometimes, parents may think that they should not interfere in the children’s fights. Parents need not interfere or take sides. But, if the physical safety of either child is threatened, or they begin to get verbally abusive parents must step in and take a practical decision to solve the argument.

How to control Sibling Rivalry?

Parents must spend time alone with each of the children. Spending time alone with each child means a lot to the children.

While solving fights parents should take time and listen to both the children and both points of view before coming to a conclusion. 

Parents should teach their children that they should resolve fights peacefully without resorting to hitting, slapping or verbally abusing.

Parents must try to engage the siblings through family games or activities. When siblings share more experiences and become closer to each other, they will resolve their fights faster and fight less.

Although they may fight occasionally or there is a lot of sibling rivalry, siblings are known to help each other and be there for each other when the other one needs them. In fact, children who have siblings are seen to be more co-operative with other children because they already have a sibling at home and know how to share and be adjusting.

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Sibling love.8 years ago
Rarely, sibling rivalry can also go into adulthood. We hear of many siblings fighting with each other even when they are adults. But, there are many stories where siblings are always there to help each other and love each other very much. This was a good article and gave good tips for parenting also.
Siddharth.8 years ago
Even my twins fight a lot. Sibling rivalry is seen in all families where there is more than one child. Parents should not take sides and favouritism in children should be avoided. Each child is unique and special. Each child is different and parents must not have same expectations from children.
Nikita.8 years ago
My two sons fight so much. At times I do not know what to do. It is really hard to solve the fights between these children. They push each other and scratch each other also. Even if we buy lots of toys to play for both of them, they still want each other’s toys. The fight always leads to the younger son crying.
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