Friday, May 25, 2012

Parenting Tips: Sibling Rivalry

By: Deborah Pace Rowley
One chapter in the book Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merriman is entitled Sibling Rivalry. As the mother of five, this is a topic I know well. Or I thought it did. I was fascinated to learn that I had been wrong in assuming that children resent their siblings because of parental attention. I was also wrong in thinking siblings learn to play with each other and then apply what they have learned in outside social settings. According to the latest research, the opposite is true. “Older siblings train on their friends, and then apply what they know to their little brothers and sisters” (pg 129). So it is important to help each child learn skills of shared play, cooperation and conflict resolution in play dates with friends.     

The most valuable information that I gained from this chapter was that our most important task is helping our children learn to enjoy playing together. We need to be less concerned about the episodes of fighting and conflict and more concerned about the moments of fun in sibling relationships. “In many sibling relationships, the rate of conflict can be high, but the fun times in the backyard and in the basement more than balance it out. This net-positive is what predicts a good relationship later in life” (pg 122). Siblings that ignore each other have less fighting but their relationship stays cold and distant long term. So the goal isn’t no fighting, but engagement. The bottom line is that parents should spend less time in conflict resolution, and more time in helping their children play together. Hopefully, the ideas on Puddle Wonderful Learning will help to achieve this goal!  
(A moment of sibling fun. Sisters can be friends :)
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1 comment:

  1. I am so amazed with your blog. This was a good for children that we have a spent time from them. I’m not a mother but I know that it’s not easy of all their responsibilities just like my mother towards us their children. We must also to be a good child to our parents that’s why we cannot encounter any argument. Thanks for this tips or guidelines being a good parent towards children.


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