Siblings Without Rivalry?

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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)

Siblings Without Rivalry?
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Denis works with couples and individuals. His areas of interest include marriage, grief and stress. He also counsels people who suffer from depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as those struggling with personal growth issues.

Denis is eclectic in his use of psychological approaches, which include Adlerian, cognitive/behavioural, systems, psychodynamic, brief solution focused, existential and emotionally focused therapies.

Denis is a popular speaker who presents talks and workshops on a variety of topics including marriage, grief, retirement, emotional maturity and family relationships. He has published a book titled, “Marriage Can Be Great!…no really.”

Denis was a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He helped to start the first hospice program in B.C. in 1975.

Denis received his Master of Arts degree from the University of British Columbia in 1977 and works as a Registered Psychologist. He is a member of the B.C. College of Psychologists and the B.C. Psychological Association.

Most importantly Denis has been married to Maureen for over thirty years and they have four children.

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