Sibling Rivalry: Delight in Each Child
Fevers are a good illustration of sibling rivalry at times. When the mercury goes above 98.6, we generally go looking for a reason for the spike in temperature. Yes, we treat the symptom with a fever reducer like Tylenol or Advil, but until we find the source of the infection or virus, we are not really dealing with the cause and therefore will not find a cure.
Often sibling rivalry is a symptom of a deeper malady. Many kids are filled with anger, fear, and bitterness, which manifest itself in arguing and fighting, because they are lacking a sure sense of security, significance and strength. These are the three inner needs with which every soul is born and, until these needs are fulfilled in a legitimate way, a child is always going to struggle with who they are and how they fit into the big picture of life. These frustrations are most easily expressed through sibling rivalry and rebellion.
As we have discussed in this series, there are actions you can take to Keep Sibling Rivalry to a Minimum, but there are also attitudes and aptitudes that we must be aware of in our children’s hearts. Thus, Tip #7 in our blog series, Keeping Sibling Rivalry to a Minimum.
7.) We must love our children for who they are and go out of our way to delight in them individually.
Every child needs to have someone in their life who thinks that they hung the moon. They need to know that we as their parents are so excited that God assigned their earthly care to us. I know that on some days when they have dumped out the Captain Crunch to get the matchbox car in the bottom that may only be true in theory. However, when a child knows that we like them as well as love them, they are freed up to pursue who God made them to be and not be so concerned about their sibling getting a leg up on them.
As parents, we must communicate to our children their intrinsic worth as God’s special creation by allowing our actions and our words to assure our child that we are delighted in how God made them. When we do, we will begin to meet their driving inner needs of security, significance and strength.
Children who are at peace with themselves are at peace with others and when that happens, sibling rivalry takes a back seat.
Keeping Sibling Rivalry to a Minimum
- Make sure you are not teaching your kids to bicker by the way you treat your spouse.
- Don’t compare siblings to each other in a negative way.
- Don’t require your children to compete for your attention.
- Don’t show preference of one sibling over another.
- We must help our children understand that life isn’t always going to be fair or equitable.
- Encourage harmony and honor in your home and never model or tolerate dishonoring behavior or speech toward a family member.
- We must love our children for who they are and go out of our way to delight in them individually.
Written by Darcy Kimmel