Strong and challenging competition is almost unavoidable amongst siblings. Rather than collaborate, there is the tendency for Siblings to compete at the slightest opportunity for various reason ranging from competition for parental affection, personality complex, food and other material needs. As a matter of fact, anything has the potential to ignite a rivalry between Siblings.
“Constructive rivalry” between siblings should be encouraged because it develops a healthy and beneficial comparison between the strengths and weakness of the siblings. Hence, aiding an improvement in individual personality, increases positive mental health and self-esteem and importantly mutual respect and admiration between Siblings.
Here are three ways to encourage a healthy level of competition amongst siblings;
-Decorate competition as collaboration:
Teamwork should be the target for growing siblings. Celebrating their respective individuality as a family unit rather than isolating siblings to the point where competition becomes automatic highly recommended. A good strategy is to promote collaboration as often as possible to instill the culture of support and respect (a win for one is a win for all). This will build in young siblings the spirit of teamwork and selflessness.
For instance, ensuring that siblings show support and togetherness can be cultivated through activities or actions that promotes acknowledging & celebrating each other’s successes and struggles such as gift sharing, attending each other’s special occasions or in minute matters like performing household chores together rather than dividing the chores amongst siblings which would encourage them to work together as team to complete the task. This way each one does their quota in unison like crew members in a rowing boat with the parent acting as the Coxswain.
Each Individual has a unique personality and behavioural response to various stimulus. The key to creating an environment for productive competition between Siblings is to accept and appreciate the differing characteristics of the individuals involved. Supporting the interest, hobbies or positive life choices of each sibling is required to remove feelings of neglect or favoritism. Understanding that all children are not the same and would not respond identically to similar upbringing is vital to encouraging independence. The skill to concede defeat in business and life is a skill that is lacking among a lot of adults.
The goal is sibling rivalry is to compete without actually competing!
-Reward everyone across board:
Parents should do all that is necessary to ensure that the relationship between their children is nurtured in love, mutual respect and harmony. Parents tends to reward children with good character and success with material prizes, attention and support. As the siblings may have differing strengths and attributes, there is the propensity for parents to be involuntarily biased in their compensation which may lead to discord among the siblings thereby cultivating a toxic environment riddled by jealousy and hatred which can destroy the family and even extend to future generations.
There is a feel-good factor that pulses through the body when a good deed is rewarded or a much-needed encouragement is given by our parents. For a child to be assured of his/her parents support and love is a strong driving force which can propel a child unto immeasurable greatness, self-worth and confidence.
Growing siblings should be treated with extreme sensibility and finesse. Every child’s emotional, physical and mental needs should be well taken care of. Whether the child performs well or poorly, ensure they are rightly supported or rewarded.
Whether with a word of encouragement or a gift, no one should be left out!
In conclusion, collaboration should be promoted above competition amongst siblings, but in situations where competition is not avoidable, then the competition must be healthy enough to promote better mental health, positive self-esteem and stronger bonds amongst siblings.