How to deal with sibling rivalry?

sibling rilvalry

Sibling rivalry is one issue parents don’t really know how to tackle. You know pretty well George is wrong in this and Jean in this other area. But when it comes to dealing with two you are torn in two or all over. Why? Because both of them think they are right. and the parents love both of them. Parents don’t want to seem as if they are taking sides. And at times it really gets complicated that the parents are at a loss for ways to deal with sibling rivalry. https://nurturenavigation.com/2019/11/26/children-hurting-parents/

Jean is 7 and often fights with her brother George 5. George is annoying at times. I would encourage the parents to have a meeting with Jean when she is alone. Before the meeting, they need to know that the meeting will be successful if they focus on the solution instead of the problem. The majority of people don’t like it if they are working onto something, and somebody just comes in to highlight the problem areas without giving a solution. Especially if someone highlights the problem in a condemning way.

Our children are no different. Placing emphasis on training would result in a greater ability to change. Proverbs 22:6, ” Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Also, encourage Jean to think about what Karla can do in the challenging Arena she is working on(struggles with her brother), what the parents want instead, and how would Jean accomplish this? What right thing Jean need to do to replace the unwanted behavior. I encourage parents to plan your words carefully before you talk to Jean.

Solutions to sibling rivalry


1)Tell her that you would like to give her ideas on how to work with her brother. By your offering to help will increase the likelihood of Jean listening to their advice.


2)Then, you need to express some empathy like expressing that you know the brother can be annoying at times. Expression of empathy will further open Jean’s heart to your input.


3) Let her know that you notice that she gets frustrated with George and end up yelling or hitting him( this transfers responsibility to Jean for her part of the problem)


4) Express that you have ideas that will make her life easier( this speaks of hope and vision) And who doesn’t want their lives to be easier.


5) They give Jean 3 choices to use when she starts to get frustrated with her brother:


a) ignore
b) confront
c) or get help

Teaching the How part


Then teach her HOW to ignore without getting angry, confront without yelling, and get help without tattling. Teaching is the HOW portion of the game. I would encourage the parents to meditate on Proverbs 22: 6 as you direct Jean in the way she should go. This way, you would be teaching her to treat other people with love and kindness. I usually get frustrated when the Church (including myself at a time) major on telling the congregants on Don’ts and not telling them how not to do the Don’ts. One Preacher said to teach them the Do’s so they won’t do the Don’ts.

Before you close the meeting, express to Jean that what you are teaching her, is a life skill. She will need it at school, at work, and in life generally. And that the family is a training ground. Finally, let Jean know that you would need to continue with the process until she perfects the skill and uses it latter.

Parents to keep an eye on what going on between the two, so they can give help and guidance.

How to deal with a child, who reacts with anger when frustrated.

An angry child usually causes frustration for their parents. children-hurting-parents. It’s important to know that emotions are God-given, but they can be misused.  I encourage the parent to spend time reflecting on your emotions. Because if you process your emotions well yourself, its easier to connect on a heart level with your child.

Emotions come from the heart of a person, therefore, parents need to connect with their children emotionally, on a deeper level. Emotionally connecting with your child will soften their heart, and prepares the way for much of the hard work of parenting. Thereby, making it more tolerable or even enjoyable. When the parents connect on a deeper level with the child, it’s easier for the child to cooperate with the parents.

Jesus was a good example of leaving behind an agenda, in order to care for people’s needs and connect with their hearts

 In Luke 10:38-42 He rebuked Martha for her busyness and affirmed Mary for sitting with Him.

At the Home of Martha and Mary
38. As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”41. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” N.I.V.

Jesus here emphasized relationships over other activities. Not saying what Martha was doing was wrong, but Mary chose the best and most beneficial activities.

Jesus ministered to people’s needs by feeding 5000, Matthew 14: 13-21

13. When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.

15. As evening approached, the disciples came to Him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”

16. Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

17. “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

18. “Bring them here to me,” He said. 19. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were leftover. 21. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.

Paul In Romans 12: 15

” Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” This indicating emotionally connecting with others is important.

An angry child-During nondiscipline times

During nondiscipline times, have a meeting with your child. Acknowledge your child’s feelings, and help the child understand what’s going on in his/her heart. You also need to teach them three basic emotions: sad, mad and happy and have them talk about the visual cues we receive from others that tell us they are upset. Explain that at times when children are sad, afraid or disappointed they cover up these emotions with being mad. This is not intentionally done for the most part. Because it takes vulnerability and courage to admit sadness or fear. Anger becomes the preferred response because children have bought into the lie that angry people are strong. Teach the child to see emotions in others, so they develop greater empathy and relational maturity.

Teach the child to:

  • Identify the cues- the place where they can tell they are starting to get angry eg the hairs on his arms start to stand up or they can’t think straight. Tell your child that you will raise the awareness level of the cues like when you start seeing him raising his voice, becoming irritable then you come in. Give them this Scripture- James 1: 19,” be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” Also, inform the child that the Bible does not say don’t get angry, but be slow to get angry, meaning be patient and have endurance. It’s not wrong to get angry but meanness and disrespect are not acceptable. Negative feelings don’t justify poor responses.

Emphasize also, that when one gets angry it’s important to deal with anger quickly since when one is angry for a long time they give an opportunity for the devil to come in and make a mess.

Ephesians 4: 26-27

26And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27for anger gives a foothold to the devil.

Tell your child to choose a better response

i) Coach your child in using The Break Technique the-break-method as a way of pulling back. This method can be used for a child of any age. The parent just adjusts to the age of the child. If your child says it’s difficult to pull back, they would rather vent their anger, you may give them:

Proverbs 29: 11,” A fool gives full vent to his anger but wise a wise man keeps himself under control.” Explain to him/her that he/she is not a fool but wise that’s why he/she is eager to tame their anger and he/she will do it if he keeps at it.

ii) talk about it instead of reacting emotionally.
get help from the parents


iii) slow down and persevere instead of whining and complaining about it


iv) use non-emotional times to practice the right responses


v)Give your angry child hope by encouraging them and giving them Scripture Romans 5:3-4 trials help us develop endurance, endurance, character, character helps us develop hope. I also strongly encourage parents to pray for your child and pray for yourselves, so that you develop the tenacity to help out your child

Don’t engage with an angry child-caution to the parent

chhild's anger
Engaging with an angry child


 The parent to stop and pull back instead of pushing forward. If the child pushes forward don’t engage with the angry child, because that will be adding gasoline to fire. If you engage with an angry child, you lose the battle. Because the child usually would want to argue with the parent. Why? So that the parent loses focus on the real issue.  A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare-Proverbs 15:1-3.

When the child is angry and you are also angry, you may end up saying negative statements to the child which is not good for them. That will eventually cause your relationship to deteriorate some more. And usually, children remember those words. Also, remember words are powerful. You can build or destroy with words. Since the parents are an authority in the lives of their children, what you say does matter a lot. Children will easily believe it. In the future, you might end up trying to undo the damage your words have caused. This is not to scare you or make you feel guilty. We all make mistake, but it is to make you more aware of the words you speak.