Sibling rivalry and competition is one of the most analyzed topics in family systems, in addition to the couple and the family in general. Although it is a topic observed and developed in psychotherapy, and widely spoken by people, in general, little has been written about it and it has not been sufficiently investigated in terms of scientific literature.
According to the famous Clinical Psychologist, this situation may look a bit dire, but, if directed properly, there are many benefits to be gained.
To deal with this situation, he suggested several ways, including:
Respond by the circumstances
The decreasing response of parents in facing the ongoing conflict between siblings and siblings is very important to reduce the sense of competition between siblings.
It is better if parents do not have to always defend their younger siblings, especially if the younger siblings are more than three years old. If parents always make older siblings give in, the competition between siblings will be even more intense.
Give a response that displays justice according to the situation. For example, if a younger sibling grabs a brother’s toy, it is the younger sibling who must be explained that seizing is not an acceptable attitude. Teach your younger siblings to be able to ask well.
Teach children to recognize birth order
Every child born in a certain order must have their privileges, but they are not aware of it. Therefore, explain carefully to your brother what benefits you can get, as well as your younger siblings.
For example, as an older brother, he will always experience first such as being able to ride a bicycle, swimming, taking a bath by himself, being able to eat alone, and older siblings who also have the opportunity to teach their younger siblings so that they become more skillful.
The advantage is that being a younger sibling, you can learn a lot from your siblings and have more toys because you can share your toys with your younger siblings.
Learn why children feel jealous
Finding out why children feel jealous is something that can help us as parents to understand more about their condition. Is it because of lack of attention, feeling injustice, or whatever the reason? After that, we can introspect ourselves to better meet children’s needs.
Lower your expectations of your brother
Parents usually place bigger expectations on older siblings and this is not always acceptable to older siblings. Try to be more objective in laying down these expectations so that your sister doesn’t feel wrong.
Parents’ expectations for older siblings are usually quite high, for example wanting their siblings to always love their younger siblings, to be kind to their younger siblings, to be an example for their younger siblings, not to do things that hurt their younger siblings, and so on. However, usually, parents do not give time for older siblings to adapt to the situation they are in.
By lowering expectations, usually, the mistakes that older siblings make during the learning process to be a” good brother “will be responded to more positively. However, if parents’ expectations are too high, usually they will be dominated by excessive emotions that can make older siblings feel less loved.
Give children time to adapt
Time is the key to success. Try to be patient and don’t get emotional just yet. Giving time to adapt to children can make them more comfortable when learning new positions, especially as older siblings. This learning will be more effective if parents always take the time to provide understanding and explanations needed by children.
Always intervene with a cool head. Avoid mediating when children are still emotional. When they fight, you as the parent should be calmer so you don’t get carried away. Make sure you don’t get caught up in your emotions and make things worse.
Mediating sibling rivalry situations in children requires common sense. Because what they need are understanding, explanation, and learning from their parents. Avoid intervening when we are still feeling emotions.