How to Avoid Sibling Rivalry – A Desperate Parent’s Guide

Sibling rivalry - Racing to finish milkshakes

Tired of your children fighting from dawn till dusk? Want a quieter life so you can drink your tea in peace? Perhaps even have a wee alone without someone visiting you to tell tales? Check out my tips on how to avoid sibling rivalry and with a few changes you too can have peace and quiet in your home*.

*Disclaimer – You really can’t.

Never offer a choice of activities, they WILL choose different activities and there WILL be tears

When you have a toddler, the parenting advice all tells you to give them choices. If you don’t want sibling rivalry, don’t do it! It doesn’t matter if your son is desperate to go to the skate park. If your daughter has said she wants to go, he will refuse point blank. You can test the theory by suggesting they choose between a trip to the supermarket and a trip to the cinema. Suddenly, the child that hates the supermarket will be fighting to the death to go shopping because their sibling managed to choose cinema first.

Never ask your children if they love each other. You won’t like the answer

Boy Child doesn’t remember a time before Girl Child came along but he still regularly tells me he wishes she hadn’t been born. He’s always quick to clarify that doesn’t mean he wants her dead. Just that he wishes she had never been here in the first place. Charming.

If you only have one of something, just throw it in the bin

If you can’t give them the same, it’s really not worth the indignation when one decides they’ve been given the lesser item. I could give one of mine a pretty rock I’d found and offer the other a tenner in compensation. I’d still have them storming off to their room complaining I love them less. Winning the sibling rivalry battle is worth much more than a tenner.

Consider weighing out all of their food so you have evidence IT IS EXACTLY THE BLOODY SAME!

Count out the sweets, weigh the cereal, measure the juice. Better still get them to do it and call it maths homework. This is the ONLY way they will believe they are not being short changed changed.

Never suggest they take turns without a fool proof system for recording whose turn it is

If you don’t have a system, they will lie. Two children shouting “It’s my turn!” At the top of their voices is really not what you need. Mine used to take turns to go in the front seat of the car. I was incapable of remembering whose turn it was and they were incapable of agreeing. Now they get a month in the front each because even I can keep track of that.

Ignore the fact that one child has holes in their shoes until they both need shoes

Child A having wet feet will not be deemed a good enough reason to buy shoes for Child A and not for Child B. If you do, you’ll be accused of loving Child A more. If child A’s feet are really wet I recommend just cutting your losses and buying Child B shoes too. Anything for a quiet life.

Just have one child

I was an only child, I highly recommend it. The only downside is you’ve got to play with them ALL THE TIME so you may, like me, decide the sibling fighting is worth it.

So there you have it, apply my tips today and sibling rivalry will reduce by around 5% (maybe).

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Avoiding sibling rivalry - A desperate Parent’s Guide

16 Comments

  1. October 8, 2019 / 8:01 am

    Ha ha. This is so funny. We only have one at the moment. This May put me off having more!?!

    #DreamTeam

  2. October 8, 2019 / 8:48 am

    Yep, they always find a way to fight about something, however hard you try to make it impossible. I’m an only child too, so it’s all a bit alien, but now my two are teens, it’s got a wee bit easier. Good luck! xx

    #DreamTeam

  3. October 8, 2019 / 10:43 am

    Fantastic post, really enjoyed reading it, x

  4. October 8, 2019 / 1:13 pm

    I only have the one right now , and I agree with having to play with them all the time 😂.

    My little one and bestie act like siblings and we do these things when they are together. Either they get identical snacks on no one gets snacks!

  5. October 8, 2019 / 1:49 pm

    Part of Teens life, As a parent you need to know how to make peace between your siblins

    Thanks for sharing this post

  6. October 8, 2019 / 2:08 pm

    Haha! This was so fun to read! We are slowly entering this stage… for now, I just keep hearing how something is not fair. And yes with the turns! This is the method I use. For now it it working because they are still being honest, but I know that they will soon figure out how to manipulate the system. lol

  7. October 8, 2019 / 4:45 pm

    Yep, yep and yep!!

    I am sick of weighing popcorn and counting sweets every time we visit the cinema!

    It’s not FAIR!

    Brilliant post x

  8. October 8, 2019 / 7:14 pm

    hahaha! I love this!
    I have seen myself counting out sweets before so my two had exactly the same. If they can argue over something they will!

  9. October 8, 2019 / 8:53 pm

    This is hilarious! “IF YOU ONLY HAVE ONE OF SOMETHING, JUST THROW IT IN THE BIN” – this could not be truer for me and my little girls. I could have two of the exact same items, but one light purple and one drank purple and I should really learn to just throw both right into the trash as they will FOR sure find a reason to fight over whose is more purple-y.

  10. October 8, 2019 / 9:16 pm

    Absolutely fantastic post and I was chuckling there. Yes I am that mum that counts sweets to make sure they are both the same lol xx

  11. October 10, 2019 / 9:59 am

    This is brilliant. I especially love the weighing out food advice. We’ve 3 teens here and I think this still applies to sweets and chocolates!!

  12. October 10, 2019 / 10:24 am

    Like the sound of the one child thing — but it’s too late!!! We have two: the rows are getting shorter now, and they talk more in between blow-ups. They are 14 and 15. #ItsOK

  13. October 11, 2019 / 5:56 am

    Sharing cake or suchlike tip – get one sibling to cut the cake slices and the other one to choose which slice they want. You’ll be amazed at their level of accuracy when cutting!

  14. October 11, 2019 / 2:10 pm

    Oh I hear you although at 14 and 12, boy and a girl, they’re finally getting on better.

    Anne x

  15. October 14, 2019 / 12:02 am

    I love the one about weighing out all the food – that made me laugh so hard because I was that kid who always said my brothers got more. #DreamTeam

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