Ways to Promote Sibling Harmony

Have you watched the recent movie “Exodus: God’s and King’s”? In the beginning of the film, you will see the two tons of the Pharaoh – Moses and Ramses. Everyone knows that Moses is adopted and that the rightful heir is Ramses. The brothers did not end up loving each other. Their complicated relationship led to plagues, revolts and mass revolt.

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What was their problem? One of their problems is sibling rivalry since the Pharaoh favours Moses more than his real son. Children with brothers and sisters know sibling rivalry. According to a 1979 study by Brian Sutton-Smith and B.G Rosenberg, sibling rivalry is specifically strong between brothers who are close in age. However, a psychologist from Purdue University Victor Cicirelli said that sibling rivalry is not given. There are those brothers or sisters who transcend to the feeling and let it go.

There are parents here in Singapore that sees the rivalry normal and usual. They should be taught otherwise. Rivalry is serious, damaging, unhealthy and brutal. Parents should nip up the rivalry before it escalates. Here are some ways to promote sibling harmony:

  • Make the older sibling feel important: Older brother or sister tend to feel less important especially if a new baby is coming. If this feeling is not resolved, it will lead to a more serious and harmful sibling rivalry. It is crucial that you let your older child feel important despite the new addition.

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  • Make siblings friends before birth: Even if the baby is still in your womb, you have to acquaint the older one and the baby. You can let the older one see the pictures of the baby in your womb and let him/her touch your womb. You can also sit down with the older child and browse through his/her pictures when he/she was a baby.
  • Share your time with your eldest: Though new born babies require a lot of time and energy, it is still not an excuse for you to let your eldest down. It is hard but if you can just share your time with your eldest, things will be better. For example, if you are feeding the youngest, you can cuddle the eldest and read stories.
  • Do things together: Promoting sibling harmony takes a lot of parental guidance. Eldest children are not so keen on sharing their toys and possessions. They consider their parents their important possession and sharing is not a good idea. You can turn it around. Let your eldest have you whenever he/she needs you.

Siblings are not born adversaries. Parents have the power to stop the rivalry before it blots the relationship of the children. For more help, there are many professionals here in Singapore that you can go to.

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