siblings rivalry

7 replies, Page 1

vans1234 2010-11-17 20:17:57


 i have 6 yr boy &  4yr old gal....who fights alot....i have no clues how to stop  it.

if i say to shut the door to does it ....there the fight start.

if i give milk to both at the same time thinks it is a race.... and if the boy finishes

first she throws tantrums.

and many more incidences.

anybody have ever expierienced this?

RoshMom 2010-11-18 07:12:43


Hi Vans

Sibling rivalry is part of growing up and it's quiet normal.  I have experienced not as a mom but being one of the siblings who had always been bickering with my elder sis for everything till we completed schooling. But we are best of friends now.  Some kids get over this soon. some will continue till at least one of them goes to college like my case :-).

But you can help your little ones by setting some ground rules and limits to reduce the fights. The reason they fight is to get your attention or to see the reaction of the other sibling or to check how much power they have to make an impact by fighting over something or sometimes they are just bored to be together.  So set some rules.

lets take the case of fighting over who gets to shut the door. tell them that one day one kid will get to do it the next day the other will do. If they fight for who gets to start it, you choose among them by tossing a coin. They have to abide by this rule. If not, give timeput or take away some privilege.

Next while drinking milk, if  you younger one throws tantrum, try explaining to her what matters is drinking the milk and not to finish it first. at the same time don't allow your elder one to tease his sis for being second and don't allow your younger one to feel more pampered than the elder one just b'cos she is smaller.

Don't pay too much attention to all the issues. encourage them to resolve the issues among themselves unless there is something which would hurt someone or things go out of control. if they can't resolve, listen to both of them and try to be fair. Don't tell your elder one that his sis is smaller than him and he has to give up. he has the equal rights.  Do not compare them. That adds more to the rivalry.


 Former member 2010-11-18 09:46:31


Hi Vans,

i am in the same boat..i have two kids aged 5 and 3...there is fight for everything and anything:))nothing unusual about it..u need to handle them with care..

Small things that you can do is..

1. Make it very clear by your words and action that you love them both equally..
2.  Never compare them..its diff but make a conscious decision to do this
3.  tell them its ok to come don't love more or less just because one child has come first
4.  As much as possible steer away from their fights..if they keep running to you for every problem between them, just don't get involved everytime..tell them  both to sit across and solve the issue by themselves..
5.  Never take sides..give both a patient hearing and then based on the facts react..
6.  Whenever you see them being happy and good to each other, praise them...
7. whenever one child achieves or gets acknowledged in school or anywhere happy but do not neglect the second child at such times..make sure he/she is the one who is proud for their bro/sister.for eg..when my daughter won the fancy dress my son was upset..we made him understand that winning and losing is part of the game..made him hug and congratulate his sis..
8. Be sensitive towards both and remember both are quiet young, so don't make the elder one feel he is big and needs to always give in to the younger one..

hope this helps.


apar_sai 2010-11-18 10:05:13



managing 2 children is 5 times tougher than managing a single child :). Try these books, they give very practical pointers -

"Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too, 
Adele Faber "


"How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber"






aanchal 2010-11-18 10:37:52


excellent inputs by everyone..the book mentioned by apar_sai is my has superb tricks, methods given to handle siblings.


alsu 2010-11-18 11:23:40


nice inputs seriously..

i too have the same prob. my daughter 4.5 and son 2. now they r little their fight is only for toys.

my son stands firm to get the toy. he doesnt compromise with any other. wants tht particular toy only coz his sister wants. plays for few min and drops.

in this situation i have to tel my daughter to adjust. i usually tel her give it to ur bro. u take some other toys. he wil play for sometime and drop it.tht time u can take it.. again my son wil come for tht new one which she takes. this was wat i usually did and daughter too adjusted.. one day she asked me " why always i should take another?"

tht time i said ur bro is small. he cant understand even if i wait for another yr.. then he wil also share with u and i can tel him to give wat u want..

my daughter doesnt show any reaction to this situation til now. but i feel inside she feels bad for not getting wat she wants. at times pushes him down when im near them.

i tried many times to convince my son to share , asked him t give to his sis.. but he never does r understands.

wat can be done? but they both like each other very much. many times they r good bro and sis..


shobha 2010-11-18 14:04:47


There is a nice article here on this topic. I have tried some things mentioned here and found them to be quite effective :



aanchal 2010-11-18 14:49:48


hi alsu, your daughter is too young to understand the concept of being the 'big, benevolent, sacrificing' sister. try to perceive her in this way "if you had the son at 7 yrs and the daughter at 4.5, would you expect her to share and give in all the time?" age being the same, only the order changes here, but our expectations from the same kid changes.

always asking her to give and give in will fill her with resentment towards the younger one. the other damage that it will do is that the younger one will not learn the concept of waiting for his years from now she will hate her brother for being so pampered and he will hate his sister for being considered the more matured it might actually become a big problem later.

set out rules for everyone..younger one is not too small and older one is not too big should be the rule in your mind. teach your son to wait for his turn so that his sister finishes with her play.also teach him to give her something that he is playing with if she wants.. teach both of them the importance of sharing and how it is different from giving in.

little bit of fights will be unavoidable and you will have to bear with them. these small fights do not damage the relationship if the love and need for each other are strong enough. as you said, they like each other a lot..and thats a very positive sign for you to set some rules with them. when they know the rules, they will know whats expected from them. that will keep things in perspective and minimise conflicts. the rules become the governing body and not you and that saves you from being partial.



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