Sibling Rivalry: The Never Ending Game of Cat and Mouse

Anam Shahid Apr 01 2015

When you’ve got more than one kid in the house, you’re in for some rumble! A rivalry of siblings is inevitable in every house. It is like a peanut butter jelly sandwich, without the other it cannot simply exist.

Conflict can occur between spouses, partners, relatives, friends, neighbors, governments and countries and any two people who come to a point where they may disagree with one another. So, why should sibling rivalry be any different? This problem is common up to the extent that one of the children starts to bully or dominate the other. It becomes even more difficult to deal with such circumstances when the nagging and whining becomes an everyday issue.

Considering the scenario where you have two kids, who bicker on and on, the situation can evolve into a serious hard core rivalry. One will shadow the other by assuming that the other is inferior to him/her, making the other a victim in the situation and possibly shattering his/her ego over time.  This can cause the child to feel unloved. But we need to understand why siblings behave in this manner in order to make sure that the situation can be avoided. Here are some issues and ways to deal with them:

They Fight When They’re Bored

This is the most typical reason for two siblings to fight. It’s all fine and fun till the teasing does not hurt the other but that is rarely the case. Some kids are bored and they seek attention by engaging their siblings, bugging them in such a way that would satisfy their needs. To counter this, avert your child from sitting idle and interest them in some other activity with someone else. Separate them in a way they wouldn’t even feel it.

Unequal Parental Attention

This is truly a major cause for siblings to go at war. The fact that some parents tend to become biased and favor one over the other, is the seed of this war flower. All kids should be treated equally and be given equal attention. Avoid giving the chance to your child of them feeling unloved or unnoticed. Make them feel that they all hold their individual equal places in your life and praise them when they do something good together.

Personal Issues

As adults, we face issues on daily basis, but we must realize that for kids, their issues are as important to them. It is important to recognize issues of your child and help them deal with it fairly. If one of the kids feels victimized because of the other, hear both of them out and individually try to solve the issue rather than seeing it as black and white. Be a friend, not a judge.


If parents fail to solve issues that sprout every day, then resentment grows within the victimized child who is not only bad but dangerous. Children have the ability to over think and stress about things just as we can. The only difference is that they can become prone to such feeling if they are not dealt with at an early age. This resentment can find itself into their attitudes and can be hard to change even when they are older. Avoid being a dictator but rather be mother Teresa for all your children. Plan date nights for each of your individual so that none feels left out or are less important than the other. Most of all, love your kids the way they are. If they’re bickering now it is only to make them more sensible adults later on for they will be up against this world for the rest of their life.


Anam Shahid

Anam Shahid:

Anam has always been fond of writing and fiddling with words which allows her to not only express herself but pass them beyond. Graduating as a media student at ICMS, creativity comes to her pieces on its own.