I’ve heard sibling rivalry described as not rivalry between sibling and sibling, but actually between sibling and parents.
Hmmm! That’s something to think about.
It does make sense though. Children always want their parents’ attention – and so when they hit their sibling, take toys away, shut them our of their room, tease them to tears – that’s what they get – their parents’ attention.
Negative attention for sure – and then …nobody really feels like they won.
So is there any easy answer?
Well, we could start by noticing and commenting when the siblings are actually enjoying each other, or helping one another, or sharing, or protecting. Just a quick comment, “nice job”, a high five, a wink , a quiet thank you as you kiss goodnight.
It might be that you have to really search at first for the smallest positive interaction.
But if you pay attention – if you begin to notice – something small just might turn into something significant… like sibling friendship.
It’s definitely there – but sometimes children just need their parents to help them find it.