Sibling Rivalry Solutions
6 ways to stop sibling fighting
Set house rules. Keep them simple: "No shouting; no hurting, like hitting, kicking, or biting; no name-calling; no taking someone's stuff without permission." Emphasize a zero-tolerance policy for physical or verbal aggression.
Teach your kids to handle their feelings. Counting to ten, walking away, or repeating "It's no big deal" are great ways for them to defuse anger. To resolve a dispute, suggest that they roll dice to see who gets to do something, or give them a timer to set for taking turns.
Handle a younger sibling copying an older sibling. Younger children often love to emulate older siblings, but how much of this should you allow? Copying an older sibling does help the younger child mature more quickly, but often in good ways, says Harrison, NY, child and family therapist Michelle Maidenberg, Ph.D. “Kids with older siblings often learn manners and how to interact with friends earlier than their peers,” she says. “They may also pay more attention to personal hygiene, as in taking showers, brushing their teeth, and learning to use deodorant.” But you may have to step in if it turns out to be too much, too soon. Plus, you need to allow your older child some space and individuality.
If your younger son wants to play video games with his older brother and they're too advanced, acknowledge your younger son's interest, then focus on what you will allow: “I see you're really into video games, too. Let's try to find some that are just right for you.”
If copying clothes is an issue, Maidenberg suggests taking time to shop with your younger child separately. “Let's look for some things that really show off your own fun sense of style,” you might say. The bottom line: If you take the time to acknowledge your younger child's yearnings and find some solutions especially for her, she'll eventually stop trying to mimic the older kids.