Parenting Siblings is not Easy - Is Your Parenting Causing Sibling Rivalry?

Avoiding sibling rivalry is not easy and impossible to do but there are things parents can do to mitigate the rivalry. Life is full of stress and full of demands and when one child demands a parents time more than the other child or one child is more intelligent and understanding it can be simpler to take the easy way out.

To illustrate what I'm talking about I will use a Reba episode or group of episodes. Specifically the episodes where Kyra decides to move in with her dad because she feels like she's at the bottom of the totum pole at her moms house.

The last straw is when Kyra gets the chance to go to summer school in England because she achieved a 4.0 average in English. Reba comes up with the cash but Cheyanne needs it to go to summer school because she dropped too many courses during the year.

Reba chooses to bail out Cheyanne because she'll loose her daycare if she doesn't make up the dropped courses. She feels guilty and when Kyra is so understanding she feels let off the hook. However, Kyra actually feels like she's got the short end of the stick again and decides that there really is no place for her at her mothers house.

Has this ever happened to you? Either as a sibling or as a parent?

I have to watch what I do because my daughter is very demanding of time, attention, and stuff. My son is quieter and more internal with his feelings and his problems. He is very intelligent and understanding about life and choices that need to be made by us. He sometimes feels like his sister is more loved and favored by other members of the family - this is not true but I can see how he'd feel that way. His sister is younger, cute, helpful, loud and outgoing. He is quiet and intellectual, an adult needs to make an effort to spend one on one time with him because he'll sit back and wait. If the adult doesn't take the initiative he'll understand and internalize his feelings.

The ultimate result if I let things run their course and not make decisions to pay special attention to him - sibling rivalry. He will start to blame his sister and resent her favored status in the family. Taking an hour to sit down and talk with him and ask him questions to create a plan of action to include him is nothing. He's more important than any time I'd spend watching TV, cleaning the house, surfing the net or spending time with my nose in a book.

The consequences of our parenting decisions have further reaching effects then we understand. Choosing the easy way, the path of least resistance may create a home that is more of a war zone then a place of love.

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