Having a sibling can be a truly enriching experience for children. In fact, as parents, we often picture our little ones sharing clothes, toys, food and even mischief. You also imagine the siblings watching each other’s backs and defending one another against bullies on the playground.
But sadly that may not always become a reality.
When you raise two or more kids, chances are that they will develop their personality traits, which may be wildly different from each other. They might even become competitive or jealous of each other. And you may even spot them fighting on and off.
But when it becomes a real issue, it can even be fatal. Just as sibling rivalry happened with this brother-sister duo in a truly shocking and heartbreaking incident, when a boy aged 4 years old ended up killing his newborn sister.
Sibling Rivalry Gets Extreme As Boy Aged 4 Years Old Kills Newborn Sister
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In a post shared on Facebook that has gone viral, the user shared chilling details about the incident.
The four-year-old pre-schooler allegedly decided to jump on top of the infant until it left the newborn lifeless.
The boy did so out of jealousy as he was being told “jokingly” by others that his mum no longer loved him.This prompted him to kill his sister to garner his mother’s love and attention.
The incident is a grim reminder that sometimes the most innocent jokes that may seem harmless might have a gruesome effect. The boy couldn’t comprehend the joke made by the elders, which resulted in something as disastrous as the baby’s death.
While sibling rivalry isn’t new and quite common in households, it’s also important to make peace and mutual respect between the kids from a young age even at 4.
By not giving the right attention to one child over the other, you are unknowingly turning the siblings against each other, sowing the seeds of conflict.
What Causes Sibling Rivalry: 4 Main Reasons Explained
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Let’s be honest, you feel like picking up a fight with your partner or spouse sometimes right? Yes, you do! While you love them, living with them 24×7 can be tiring and breed irritation with one another. This is exactly what happens between siblings too.
This rivalry describes the ongoing conflict between kids who are raised in the same family. It is an animosity that happens among siblings, whether blood-related or not.
It can take the form of:
- Verbal abuse
- Physical fighting
- Competing against each other
While it can get extremely stressful for you as a parent, it is normal at the end of the day.
Here are some of the major causes of sibling rivalry in 4 reasons:
- Jealousy: Your younger son completed his homework on time and you praised him. But your elder one, threatened to tear his brother’s books? Why? He is jealous of your love and praise that you just showered on his brother.
- Major life changes: Sibling rivalry can also be a result of major life changes. For instance, you are getting a divorce or shifting home. Unfortunately, these events can be very stressful for not only the parents but also the kids. The latter tend to let out their frustration on the nearest, maybe their younger sibling.
- Imitate parents: If your kids are getting an environment where they see parents constantly fighting, they may role model that behaviour. They are too young to often distinguish between what is right and wrong.
- Lack of attention: Siblings may also tend to argue because they want their parents’ attention.
5 Tips to Prevent Sibling Rivalry
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Fortunately, there are ways, in which you can prevent sibling rivalry:
It is very important to pay attention to what your kids are doing. Intervene before the situation begins to escalate. Keep your cool so that your kids can emulate your behaviour.
Don’t compare your kids
Never compare your children, where you end up favouring one over the other. This will give rise to hatred and jealousy for the other.
Spend time with your family
While you may be busy at work during the week, find time to bond with your children during the weekends.
Plan a short staycation or a visit to the nearby amusement park, you can create positive memories and your kids will find less reason to pick up a fight.
Appreciate your kids often
For instance, your younger one may be good in academics, while your elder child may excel in arts. Give each child their space and allow them to bloom on their own.
Don’t pigeonhole them by labelling them and expecting them to perform a certain way.
It is very important to treat both your kids equally. It won’t be fair that your elder kid got punishment for losing his pencil box but the same punishment wasn’t applied when your younger one repeated the mistake.
How To Handle Sibling Feuds In A Positive Manner?
There are times when those inevitable fights occur. You need to learn to handle disagreements positively. Here’s what you need to do:
- Rarely, you will get to witness the events that lead up to the fight. So instead of playing the blame game, try to focus and find out each child’s role in it.
- It is very important to listen to your kids and respect their feelings. If you find your child getting aggressive, immediately rectify it.
- You should try to make punishments private. For instance, in case of a spat between siblings that result in the need for punishment, try to not reveal it to others, or at least in front of them. This can humiliate the child and affect their confidence. Your aim should be to teach them a lesson, not make an announcement.
No matter what you say or do, siblings will fight. While some of it is a part of their bonding experience, you want to ensure that it does not get ugly. More so by parents favouring one child over the other.
You are simply sowing the seeds of resentment in the mind of one child. And be it an adult or a child, resentment never helps in any kind of relationship.
Instead, a proper parenting technique and a few problem-solving skills will come to their rescue as they grow in life.
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