Sibling Rivalry Put To Good Use In Your Home

In the young years the sibling infighting may have threatened to break your patience. The impossibility of sharing toys and space, or constant bickering, or even physical blows in the backyard… remember those days? My how things have changed – or maybe they haven’t. The teenage years change nearly everything, but sibling rivalries can survive the changes and remain healthy. Thankfully, those sibling rivalries can actually be used for good.

Teen Sibling Rivalries

It is not uncommon for teens to feel rivalries with their siblings, and it may not look the way you’d predict. Certainly there exists the traditional rivalries in some relationships: who’s the favorite, who’s the smartest, who gets special treatment, who can get away with more. But it doesn’t always mean bickering. Even siblings who get along admirably may experience sibling rivalry within their relationship.

Using Sibling Rivalry for Good

Sibling rivalries get a bad rap, because they can cause fighting and self-esteem issues. Of course they should be monitored closely and toxic relationships corrected as soon as possible. Good parents can, however, use sibling relationships to improve their children’s lives and tackle head on the issues they face with a troubled teen. There are several ways to use rivalries in a positive manner to strengthen teens:

  • Family Games – keep them silly and inconsequential, just for fun! Play card games, board games, charades, anything that can be fun and help everyone build relationships.
  • Let Your Troubled Teen Win – we’re not saying fake a victory, but choose some kind of competition or new task that your troubled teen is particularly good at. Make a big deal about their winning.
  • Positive Peer Pressure – setting family goals or positive competitions can motivate your troubled teen to do good things. Try a reading challenge, a race to complete chores, rewards for good grades, or any other competition where your teen will want to beat their siblings – with positive consequences for all!
  • Teams – if you have siblings to struggle to get along, have them team up against mom & dad for a board game or other competition. Allowing your teen some time to get to know their sibling better and form some new alliances within the family can make a huge difference for a troubled teen in search of connection.
  • Talk – Talking to your kids about their siblings can be extremely helpful. Be careful not to betray trust, but you can help siblings understand why their brother or sister is acting out. You can also talk to your troubled teen about helping out more with their siblings, because giving them trust and responsibility can be pivotal.

Sibling relationships are so important for teen development and if you can navigate them well you may change the course of your troubled teen’s life. Do your very best to promote healthy relationships and lighthearted rivalries, but be prepared to correct if your troubled teen is unable to cope. If more serious help is needed, seek it now before relationships deteriorate or damage is caused. There is a way to develop lifelong healthy friendships between siblings, and to produce happy and productive adults.

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