Tag Archive | "sibling rivalry"

Sibling Rivalry – How To Deal With Favoritism Among Toddlers

Sibling rivalry is a big concern. When parents play favorites among their toddlers, it can be damaging in many areas of a child’s life. Here are some tips to help you deal with favoritism to ensure you are not leaving one toddler feeling he is second fiddle in your family.

Never Compare

“David can recite the alphabet, what is your problem?”. “David does not play with his food, why cannot you be like your brother?” These types of comparison discourage a sibling from even trying since he feels he always comes up short, unlike the “golden child”. Favoritism generally involves comparing one child to another, which is not fair. Comparing your toddlers to determine if one is better than the other can cause a build-up of anger and self-esteem issues. Remember, no two people are alike. Know that they are both individuals, with different personalities and talents.

Praise Each Toddler

If your toddler accomplished something, shower him the praises that he deserves. Children are sensitive and they will notice if their parents are giving all the praises to their siblings. They all have something they are good at. So even if your toddler is not good at sports as compared to his sibling but he is good at math, commend that skill.

Watch Your Mouth

Be wary of the words that you say to your toddlers. Certain words can leave your children feeling useless, which greatly affects their confidence. Bear in mind that once you say something, you can never take back your words.

Never Take Sides

It is very normal for children to fight, so as much as possible, try not to meddle in their bickering. Also, do not reprimand one child as this will not be fair for both your children. So the next time your toddlers fight over a toy, reprimand the two of them and give them the same consequence, regardless of who is right and wrong.

Stop Turning Everything Into A Competition

“Let me see who can swim better”, “First one to the car wins” or “First one to finish their homework gets to watch TV.” Sure, it is just a game or these statements may sound very ordinary, but it will bite you back. Toddlers confuse winning contests with winning their parents affection and appreciation. It does not really matter who is better. Encourage each child to hone their own talents.

Spend Time With Your Toddlers Individually

While spending time as a family is important, one-on-one time with each of your toddler is also needed. This is the best way to show them that you love and appreciate them. If your little one loves spending time outdoors, visit a museum or zoo or take him with you to the grocery. If the other loves to do arts and crafts, work on a puzzle together or have him help you prepare dinner.

Use these techniques to help you avoid showing favoritism so you can produce children who are happy, confident and assured.

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How to Deal With Toddler Sibling Rivalry

Your toddler has grown accustomed to getting 100% attention of the people around him. But, when a new bundle of joy comes into the world, a different story unfolds. Sibling rivalry is natural to children. After all, your little one still does not know how to process his mixed emotions. Hence, it is your responsibility to help your toddler. Spot the problem areas. Secure him with your love and build a strong foundation for a good lasting relationship.

Generally, sibling rivalry takes place when you have two or more children. Since your children are constantly battling over your affection, you need to be wary of your actions. Giving them equal love and attention will minimize jealousy and apprehension. To help you, here are some tips on effectively managing sibling rivalry in toddlers.

Eliminating Sibling Rivalry

Never Make Comparisons

This one is a killer. Judging your toddler against his other siblings is a big no-no in every parenting book. Each individual is unique and so is your toddler. He has his own set of traits that make him who he is. Appreciate his good qualities. Give ample positive reinforcement. Talk about his weaknesses in a calm, firm and gentle manner. Remember, do not evaluate him by comparing him to someone else. Instead, give him goals and levels of expectation that only relates to him. This will eliminate the thought of favoritism on his mind.


Sibling rivalry can be sorted out easily just by listening to your toddler. When your little one knows you care enough to listen to what he has to say, most probably his insecurity will go away. So the next time your toddler makes a heated remark about his sibling, give him time and let him vent. Do not reprimand him. By doing so, he is able to properly process emotions on his own. And by the time he calms down, he will feel sorry about it and make amends with you and his sibling.

Hold Weekly Dates

One on one time with your toddler asserts him of your love and affection. To make your children stop their battles, set a day each week wherein you can give your undivided attention to each of your child. For your eldest child, a fun afternoon in the amusement park, eating ice cream in his favorite store or watching a movie together will do. For your youngest, you can simply play with him in the playground or do fun activities (e.g. arts and crafts, painting, drawing, puppet shows, etc.) at home while his older toddler is in school.

Let Them Work Together

The next time you assign your toddler a household chore, task him to do it together with his sibling. Let your older toddler read books to his younger brother. During play time, encourage them to work as a team. When doing household chores, let your youngest assist his older brother in cleaning his room. Most often, what toddlers need is teamwork. Once they know how to work with each other, they are able to compromise better. Plus, it gives your eldest child a clear idea that every family member is equally treated in the house.

Give Your Toddlers Space

As much as your toddlers need bonding time together and with the family, it is also very important to allow each of your toddlers their own quality time. Each of them needs adequate time to be on their own, with mommy and daddy and with their friends. Space provides them balance. It allows them to find their own individuality and strengthen their character which impacts how effective they bond with each other.

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