Do all children living under one roof find it necessary to compete with each other? I suspect they do.
“Siblings Without Rivalry” is the title of a book by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish which was published ten years ago. In spite of the unrealistic title, the book has offered valuable suggestions to parents over the years.
* Remember that most of us were siblings who experienced bad and good times as children, and as adults most of us seem to have turned out fine.
* Comparing children to each other is going to intensify negative feelings between siblings.
* Children need empathy, so that their feelings are heard and understood. Then they can be asked for their own ideas on how to resolve conflicts.
* Favoritism needs to be avoided. This does not mean trying to love all the children identically, but rather, loving them uniquely.
* Focusing on the positive qualities of each child allows everyone to feel like number one, or special.
* Fighting between siblings should be ignored if possible, unless someone is getting hurt. “Hold it! People are not for hurting!”
* It is important to treat children not as they are, but as we hoped they would become.
* We need to watch our sensitivities. Sometimes we are hard on an older or younger child because of our past problems with our own siblings. (Ginott)