Sibling rivalry in teens is a common issue in every family. It will always be a part of rearing kids into responsible adults. It can never be avoided. Its existence is actually beneficial as it promotes the opportunity of letting your kids know how to handle problems outside their family circle. Take a look at the situation below.
Sixteen year old Allison is a straight A student at school. She excels in almost everything she gets her hands on. Allison is the eldest in the family. 14 year old Anne is a middle child. She is in her early teens, and a bit aloof on people. And the youngest, fun loving Monique is only 12 years old.
There is a two year gap between each of them. The closeness of the gap provides a greater factor in creating sibling rivalry. Consider the birth order as well, and how this affects their personality. Competitiveness will exist in each one of them as they vie for their parents' attention. In cases like this, what are the best options parents can do to shed light on this problem.
Different approaches are being used by parents, but here are a few that you may find useful.
Do Not Get Involved Directly
Give your teens the chance to come up with a resolution themselves. They are at the stage of developing their sense of individuality. They want to air out their opinions. So, let them be. But if there is physical harm, then it is about time to intervene. Just be sure that you are not taking sides. Otherwise, you would only worsen the situation, and pave the way for resentments on your part.
Define the Rules
When you intervene, you are there to set the rules. Don't allow them to throw bad words and hurt each other.
Determine the Cause of Their Argument
Try to identify who started it first, and what triggered the fight? Sibling rivalry offers various reasons for ignition. The usual jealousy, feelings of favoritism, interests, birth order, and a whole lot more. These are the underlying factors over their superficial fights on clothes, shoes, accessories, books, and just about any of their belongings.
Equal Time as You Listen
Recognize their individuality. Take time to hear them out one at a time. Remember, your teen is after your undivided attention. Their sensitivity is a bit high at this stage.
During your talk, make your teen feel that you know what the rivalry is all about. They do not have to fight with each other since you love them for what they are. And you understand how they feel. A hug from you may be what it takes to pacify the situation.
Do not expect miracles to happen with these tips. Keep educating yourself and incorporate the tips above into your parenting toolbox. Just bear in mind, Sibling rivalry amongst teens is not something to be overly worried about. And you are not alone in this dilemma.