Sibling Rivalry: DOs And DON’Ts To Avoid One

Cain and Abel – these are well-known names in the biblical book of Genesis. Since childhood itself, there was a sense of resentment and jealousy between these two sons of Eve. Cain was so full of envy for Abel that he killed Abel and thus gave rise to the first murderer on earth. This incident from the Bible clearly illustrates the consequences of sibling rivalry from childhood itself. 

Sibling Rivalry
Source – dreamstime

The petty fights and misunderstandings between siblings in childhood often develop into bitterness in the latter stages of their lives. Therefore all such arguments and clashes should be taken care of in childhood itself. Children should be made to understand that their siblings are significant members of their families and consequently integral parts of their lives too. No matter where life takes us, just like our parents, siblings always play a very important role in our lives. 

Sibling Rivalry

Fights between children of the same age in close quarters are quite common. Whether it is on the field or inside the four walls of the house, clashes between them are bound to occur. Generally, kids are self-centered and they tend to establish their authority over others. More often, they end up engaging in physical fights. Therefore, children should be made to develop a healthy relationship with their siblings keeping in mind the following.

Is the first child ready for the second one?

Is the first child ready for the second one?

It is often seen that children do not tolerate any other individual to intrude in their family space. So, the parents have to make it clear to their child that the arrival of a sibling in their lives will not affect the first child in any manner. It should be made clear to the first child that he will be loved and cared for just as before. The best solution is to allocate the responsibilities of his sibling to the first child. If he is made to understand that the well-being of his sibling depends on him, he will naturally be caring and responsible towards the sibling. Thus, the discontentment in the mind of the first child will gradually decrease.

There should be no competition for love

There should be no competition for love

A frequent cause of sibling rivalry is the subject of gaining more love and affection from their parents. Since these kinds of fights may give rise to deep-rooted bitterness between the siblings, parents should not treat these as petty issues. Instead, parents should make it a point to instill this thought in the minds of the siblings that both of them are the apple of their eyes and equally valuable to their parents. 

Compassion and respect for each other

Just as the first child should learn to love his sibling, the younger child also has to treat his sibling with utmost care and respect. The younger one must know that it is unethical to hit or disrespect his sibling.

No comparison should be made between the siblings

No comparison should be made between the siblings

As stated earlier, if children are made to feel that they are ‘deprived’ of their parents’ love, it may even take the shape of a life-long animosity. It may be that the younger one is not as studious as the elder one, or vice-versa, but this should never be the cause of their regret. Whether it is their exam report or physical influences, parents should never compare siblings.



Carrying out duties collectively might lead to a sense of trust between the siblings. They also learn the value of helping one another. Therefore, it would be a good option to allocate responsibilities to siblings collectively.

The principle of non-violence

The principle of non-violence

If children of the same age come in contact with each other, they will engage in squabbling in some or the other way undoubtedly. Still, parents should look into the matter that this does not take the shape of physical violence. If needed, the parents should warn their children too, thus stopping imminent sibling rivalry.

Sibling love

Instead of being frustrated with the continuous bickering and conflicts between their children, the parents should try to deal with the sibling rivalry wisely. The parents must not act impulsively or out of haste for it is a very sensitive issue. They should adopt strategies and tactics to make amends between the siblings. 

Read Also: Adventure Day – How to Take Family Fun Outside.

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