Handling Sibling Rivalry


A new addition to the family is preparing his arrival and you already have a little one at home? The little bundle of joy may be a pill hard to swallow for the older sibling, but keep in mind that it’s all up to you to handle rivalry successfully without failing to any of your children. Here are a few tips and tricks which you can use in your relationship with them and to amend things between them.

Keep the big brother informed

Children need to have a grip on everything that’s happening, so don’t steal his sense of security. Keep him in the loop with all the information regarding the new arrival and never hide something from him. After all, no matter his age, he’s part of the family and of the circle of trust existing in it.

Keep the big brother involved

Information is not enough, so make sure you also keep your firstborn involved in everything related to the new addition. As long as he knows everything and he feels he can also control everything, little are the chances he becomes unhappy about the impending changes.

Trust the big brother

Changes should come with a promotion. Let go a little of your fears and show your firstborn you trust him by association some of the modifications in your lives with greater power awarded to him. You will make him very happy and give him the sense of independence.

Don’t take the big brother’s stuff

The little arrival won’t have a clue if his things are new or worn, if they still have their labels attached or they’re hand me downs. The big brother, for one, will know if you take his things away, so don’t take from him anything he loves.

Yet offer the big brother presents

As mentioned earlier, don’t take the things he loves, but if there are items he is not attached to; put them aside for the little baby. What should you do in exchange? Take him in a shopping trip and buy new stuff for him. The car seat would be a good example and probably even a necessary upgrade.

Come home bearing gifts for the big brother

Is the newborn here? Make sure you come home with at least a present from him to his big brother. Cut down on sibling rivalry by showing openness and friendliness from the start from the little one towards the wiser one.

Of course, rivalry may still be in the cards, but you need to know how to start with the right foot forward. In time you’ll be able to observe how the relationship is handled on both sides, when it’s the case for you to interfere and when not. And you will be able to contribute towards transforming something that might be tensioned at first in a strong, lifetime bond.


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