Sibling Rivalry...

Posted Saturday, September 26, 2009

...irritating, yes. But sib squabbles are dress rehearsals for life.

(this is a snippet from an article in Better Homes and Gardens October 09 Issue p.262)

Siblings are the best and worst of friends during childhood, which is right on psychologically-their sole purpose is to gain a parent's attention, and irking a sib is often the way to do it.

I hated when my mother refused to get involved in our spats. "Work it out," she'd say. "I don't' want to hear about it."
But my mom was right. That conflict resolution she forced us to learn not only taught us to navigate relationships, it made us the best of friends as adults.

Many experts say parents shouldn't try to eliminate it as much as moderate it. "Sibling rivalry is a dress rehearsal for life," says Elaine Fantle Shimberg, the Tampa Author of Blending Families and mother of five..You have to learn to communicate and you have to make compromises."

Think before stepping in. "Parents, wishing only to see their kids smiling, sometimes hijack the process," says Chicago psychologist Aaron Cooper, author of I just want my kids to be happy! Why you shouldn't' say it, why you shouldn't think it, what you should embrace instead. They mix in when sibs bicker or fight, thinking it's the way to promote peace. In fact, it backfires much of the time."

4 comments:

Penelope Anne said...

I grew up as an only child - so I had (or have depending on who you ask) no conflict resolution skills - I just assumed I was always supposed to get my way - this article was helpful to me b/c my boys argue about every thing and I let them work it out most of the time, simply b/c I didn't know what else to do :)

Atasha said...

I started letting my 5yr old and 3 yr old work it out months ago. Not because I thought it was the right thing to do but I was simply fed up of the fighting and bickering. As long as I didn't think they were going to seriously injure themselves I stepped out of it. I realized it actually started working.

Penelope Anne said...

Atasha - I've experienced the same! It used to be really drawn out with my boys - but now they argue for a bit and then come to an understanding and its done. The most is about what they are going to watch on the living room tv (which is crazy b/c we have several tvs - but they like to watch together) if it gets really bad Ill cut it off and say "it doesnt come back on until you've reached an agreement." Then they have to work out something.

Kait Emerson Designs said...

Thanks for posting Such a GREAT Article.. Just what I need, I have Irish Twins.. 3(boy) & 4(girl). With Them so close in age it's often a battle with them. Yes, They have good days but man Oh Man! I do spend alot of time separating them. I think spending more time w/ them individually really helps..

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