Raising Kids Is Never Easy: Sibling Rivalry

Raising kids is never easy.

Even though I’m a professional counselor, seasoned teacher, and a school counselor working with teens and tweens, its life with my own kids that humbles me and reminds me raising kids is hard work.  A frustrating challenge of parenting how to deal with sibling rivalryis how to deal with sibling rivalry and fostering positive sibling relationships.  If you’re a parent of more than one child, this can be a constant struggle.

Teaching kids to respect each other is a lifelong process.  How siblings treat each other is crucial to the health of a family and a child’s individual development.  It’s tempting to ignore dishonoring and disrespectful words when siblings hurt one another or don’t get along.

But you can’t. 

There’s not an easy answer to the problem because children have unique differences.  They go through ages and stages.  They each have their own perspective on things.

Sometimes I want to just relish in the happy family times and ignore the underlying things that brew. Doing this would be negligent. Isaac {Genesis 25} didn’t correctly deal with his sons Jacob and Esau and that didn’t turn out so well.  Teaching children how to navigate through sibling relationships is a skill they can use in other relationships in life.  

Parenting is difficult. There are times, even as an experienced counselor, I sit on my child’s bed thinking, “I don’t know how to help this situation.”  I’m thankful prayer is an ever-present resource as a parent. I can’t always help a situation or change another person’s perspective or heart, but God can.

This week has been one of “those” weeks.  A week full of family highs and lows.  Do you have weeks like that?  Weeks where you glow in the goodness of family life and then want to pull your hair out at the reality of it all - sibling rivalry, fighting, teenage melt-downs and hormones. 

At least that’s how some family days roll at our house.

As a professional writer, speaker, educator and counselor, I interact heavily in social media.  Sometimes I internally roll my eyes at easy “how-to” articles on parenting even though SEO data says it’s the best way to get readers. I’ve probably written some of those because a social media expert told me to.

I apologize.

There’s nothing “easy” about parenting.  

That statement won’t get me invited on the Today Show.  But I’m still raising my kids. Some days, it’s exhausting. 

How about you?  How do you impact your child’s relationships with their siblings?  What are the  stresses you experience and things you’ve found helpful?  I’d love to hear your thoughts today because I hope I’m not alone.

 

Brenda Yoder (56 Posts)

Brenda has an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is a speaker, freelance writer, counselor and former teacher who's spent two decades working with and raising teenagers. She's a mom of four kids, from middle school to college-age, and lives with her family on a farm in Indiana.


About Brenda Yoder

Brenda has an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is a speaker, freelance writer, counselor and former teacher who's spent two decades working with and raising teenagers. She's a mom of four kids, from middle school to college-age, and lives with her family on a farm in Indiana.

  • http://www.fourhensandarooster.com Kristen

    With 3 girls, this is something we’re dealing with a lot. I was an only child so it’s a completely foreign concept to me!! I notice the thing they compete for the most is our attention. Even at this age.

    • http://www.brendayoder.com Brenda Yoder

      I came from a family of 4 girls – wow, girls have their own sets of things to add to the mix. Our time and attention, yes, to be seen and known. I was the youngest of four – not really seen, not really known. You are good in being sensitive to your girls.