Sibling Rivalry

Having a brother is a very important and beautiful situation. However, this does not change the fact that there is rivalry between siblings. Sibling rivalry is the situation where there is jealousy, competition and fights between siblings. In fact, it is not the siblings that are envied, but the sharing of the parents’ attention and time. According to Alfred Adler; The form of the competition changes according to the status of being an older child, middle child and young child.

The older child is always the first eye pain in the house. Couples who learn to be parents with the older child can always favor the first child. The eldest child has the titles of the best-knowing, hardworking, successful child. He becomes the first child to receive the greatest share of attention. He is pampered for a while as he is the first and only child. Then, with the second child, the throne of the eldest child is shaken. When his brother, who now has a rival with whom the family has to share his attention and love, is born, the older child is puzzled about what to do. Therefore, he can conclude that power is an important thing.

The second child has to share the attention with his sibling from the day he is born. That’s why he feels like he’s in a race. He must always be on the alert. He constantly trains himself to beat his opponent, the first child. In this, he tries to be successful in the subjects where the first child fails so that he can win the attention and praise of the family. However, if the first child is very good, the second child can give up the race. This can make him a daredevil. Usually the second child has the opposite characteristics of the first child.

The youngest child is always the baby of the family. For this reason, he is the most pampered child. The youngest child tends to go his own way. Because his siblings are far ahead of him. The youngest child should have a special role to play. He can develop different ways for himself that other siblings have not tried.

If the number of siblings is more than two, the second and third children can become the middle child. The middle child has his own roles. The middle child often feels crushed in between. For this reason, he may get into a self-pitying mood and become a problem child. If the rivalry between siblings is great, the middle sibling can also play the role of mediator in this confusion. If there is a fourth child in the family, the second child may feel like a middle sibling. In this way, the third child can be more docile and more social.

Rivalry between siblings is actually normal and healthy, although it sometimes puts parents in a difficult position. The rivalry between siblings also determines what place they will occupy in the worldly life. Siblings gain a certain lifestyle in this competition. They carry this style into their adult lives as well. Therefore, parents need to be careful.

So What Are the Duties of Parents?

  • Children should not be compared with each other. For example, how nice your sister is doing. Why can’t you do it?” Such sentences should not be formed.

  • Make sure that each child has their own space and enough time.

  • Siblings should be shown how to approach each other.

  • Every child has their own identity. Do not tag them.

  • Each child has unique abilities and achievements. In such cases, praise must be given.

  • Encourage cooperation.

  • It should always be asked before sharing toys and personal belongings.

  • Being fair is important. Each of them should be made to feel special.

  • Children should have a good time together. When they experience conflict, these times act as protectors. Sharing good memories together makes it easier to find solutions.

  • It is important that parents regularly spend one-on-one time with each child.

  • Feelings and thoughts about your family life should be listened to.

  • Every child should be allowed to know that he or she is special.

  • If there are dangerous fights, the family must intervene. Talk about what happens when they calm down.

  • It should be clearly stated that violence is not allowed.

  • Be clear that name-calling and shouting are not allowed.

  • If there is a fight over a toy/item, the toy should be removed for a while.

  • If there is a debate about choosing the tales to be read before bedtime, the days they can choose should be determined.

  • If one child regularly abuses the other and one child is afraid of the other, it is necessary to seek professional help.

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