SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

February 28, 2014

When sibling rivalry dominates, parents can't referee

With the kids home from school during the many snow days, followed by the week of February vacation, sibling rivalry is at a peak in many families.

It’s the squabbles of sibling rivalry that may cause parents and caretakers to feel like they’re going to lose their minds and tempers. It’s the ongoing battles of really, really important things like whether the ball crossed a certain line or who has more points at any one time, or who is going first or who got a bigger piece of cake; the list can be endless, and parents often want to pull out someone’s hair, if not their own, before they decide what to do to stop the barrage of conflict.

The reality, like it or not, is that not only is sibling rivalry very typical in families with more than one child, it actually serves the purpose of teaching children through experience how to negotiate, share, and be successful in different roles; leader, follower, winner and loser. This life experience comes in handy when children are facing similar challenges in their lives outside of the home.

Parents struggle with how to manage the rivalry when all they really want is peace when their children play together. So, what can parents do?

There are different parenting styles. Some parents work hard to keep up with every sibling squabble by assuming a refereeing role over conflicts. If this is your parenting style, quit your day job now, because you’ll be working full time as referee. In contrast, other parents are permissive and tolerant regarding sibling rivalry. These parents adopt a “hands off, they’ll work it out” position.

The best, most effective parenting incorporates different parenting strategies to successfully manage typical sibling rivalry. Here are six essential components:

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, Aug. 20

    Looking for something to do this afternoon? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Husband who relives past should focus on present Dear Abby: I'm married to the love of my life. I can't imagine loving a man more than I love "Wayne," and I know he feels the same about me. The problem is, he's always telling stories about things he has done, including past relationships, in graphi

    August 20, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Young man with heart scar has options for covering it up Dear Abby: You printed a letter from "Self-Conscious in Georgia" (May 15), a young man who is insecure about the scar from his heart surgery. I have had three surgeries for congenital defects, my first at 2 years old. Because many women's fashions ex

    August 19, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Angry wife resents husband for hiding news of his health Dear Abby: When my husband is sick or needs to have surgery, he refuses to tell his family and doesn't want me to. This puts me in a very awkward position. I'm damned if I do tell them because he will be upset with me, and damned if I don't because h

    August 18, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Romantics should come back to earth Dear Abby: I have been single for a couple of years. I have always been levelheaded when it comes to romance, but I'm finding myself unable to control my feelings about the new man I'm seeing. "Brent" is smart, intelligent, sweet and loving. We have

    August 16, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Saturday, Aug. 16 Church Yard Sale, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Our Lady of Fatima Church, 50 Walsh Ave., Peabody. Church-sponsored yard sale features home furnishings, clothing, children's items, furniture and more. Portuguese food will also be available. All

    August 16, 2014

  • North Shore religion news in brief The Church of the Holy Name is seeking artists and crafters to participate in the Fall Arts and Craft Fair on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, located at the corner of Monument Avenue and Thomas Road in Swampscott. A limited a

    August 16, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, Aug. 16 and Sunday, Aug. 17

    Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore Gardener: Toad in your garden? That’s a good thing Q: There are several large toads -- some as big as a fist -- that live around the hosta on the shady side of my garden. They seem to especially like to be near the faucet, which sometimes leaks! Are they doing any harm? My small dog got one in his mo

    August 15, 2014

  • Dr. Kate's Parent Rap: Mission statement can help with co-parenting troubles More often than not, when I speak with parents today, they describe struggles with their children that originate in parenting conflicts. Parents often disagree when making daily decisions, and yet, they are steadfast in their beliefs that they share

    August 15, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker