How to Parent Through Sibling Rivalry in The Holiday

Every time the word ‘sibling’ comes up, it usually seems to be accompanied by ‘rivalry’ despite the fact that most sibling relationships are solid and loving. Sibling rivalry is a common challenge in every household, and it doesn’t make it easier on a parent’s sanity. Let’s just face it one minute they are playing nicely and the next they are arguing like crazy over some small toy or issue.  Truth is disagreements among siblings are unavoidable. Children will always tease each other and fight over toys. School holidays, though a happy time certainly deal their fair share of sibling rivalry!  Here’s some tips to help you with some parenting wins!

  1. Set up individual stations

If you have preschoolers, then you are already familiar with setting up individual activities or stations for kids to move between. Setting up individual stations keep children of all ages occupied for longer periods. It also helps keep sibling rivalry to a minimum as they are separate. For outdoor activities consider setting up messier activities like air-dry or oven-bake clay modeling, painting and play dough. School-age children are already familiar with this kind of process so you can easily rotate them between spaces every few minutes.

  1. Be your children’s ally

Many sibling rivalry issues arise out of the desire to win the parent to their ‘side’. Avoid taking sides at all costs, and instead place the responsibility on the children fighting to work out their own problem, under your supervision, or take an equal share of the consequence. Change tactics with all children over the age of three by planning a meeting rather than constantly disciplining them. For the meeting write rewards on a piece of paper and set the rules for behavior. Also, allow and encourage children to set their own rules and consequences as they are likely to come up with more creative and often more severe consequences than you would (you may have to tame their ideas down a little)!! And they’re more motivated to stick to their own rules and accept their own consequences.

  1. Establish support networks

If you are lucky enough to have your family living close by, use them to your advantage! Grandparents are especially great when it comes to splitting up your kids for a day or so to give them their own space. Alternatively set up play dates with your kid’s school friends. In reality, no family is perfect, and parents need a time out. Play dates and half-date exchanges are a great solution to sibling rivalry.

  1. One on one time

For a lot of children one on one time with a parent gives them a chance to unwind and enjoy the undivided attention. So when one child becomes more dominating, it’s time to set individual time aside to instill positive balance in the parent-child relationship. Individual time also gives you as a parent time to reflect and work on their capabilities. Two person activities like art or playing games are a great reward as compared to shopping or food related rewards.

  1. Nip boredom in the bud

Most of the time sibling rivalry is caused by boredom. To prevent sibling fights start eacy day with energy-consuming activities that will meet your child’s need to move. In addition, you can book your children into holiday workshops that will inspire their creative thinking, shaping their play at home afterwards.  It’s a great idea to enrol your children into separate workshops so they get some time away from each other 🙂

Sibling rivalry is one of the natural parts of growth despite your best efforts as a parent. Change the cycle of sibling rivalry by enrolling your children into Hive’s amazing variety of creative holiday workshops.