When your children are fighting, it isn’t necessary that you interfere on every account. However, if you feel that things are going out of hand or you just can’t ignore their misbehaviour, you could meddle in their affairs.
1. Start Early: Introduce your older child to the younger one when the latter is in the womb itself. This will prepare her for the new addition in the family as well as build a friendly bond between the two. Let your kid pat your bulge and talk to the child.
2. Set boundaries: Make sure that your kids know what behaviour is acceptable and what is not, especially when they are quarrelling. Sit them down and lay down the limits where calling each other names, physical violence as well as stealing each other’s belongings is definitely not acceptable.
3. Avoid comparisons: Picture this — your five-year-old daughter is having a meal and drops some food on her blouse. You scold her, ‘Even your baby sister doesn’t do something like this.’ Comparisons like these do more harm than good. Your older child may develop negative feelings towards her sibling.
4. Give equal attention: Rivalry often stems from jealousy, especially if the older kid feels ignored when she sees you pampering the younger one. Make the older kid feel important and ensure that you pay equal attention to both of them and love them equally.
5. Separate them: Are there times when your kids want to watch the television at the same time or are quarrelling for a bicycle ride? If you can’t find a way to solve the situation, ask them to go to their respective rooms. Allot particular time periods for each during which they can use common things. From an early age, encourage your kids to share their things with each other.
6. Reconsider when to intervene: When your children are fighting, it isn’t necessary that you interfere on every account. However, if you feel that things are going out of hand or you just can’t ignore their misbehaviour, you could meddle in their affairs. But remember to be a neutral parent and avoid passing any judgments on either of the kids.
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