How to stop sibling rivalry from poisoning your kids

There's no harm in some innocent fun between siblings, but rivalry can create toxic family dynamics.

Sibling rivalry is rooted in competition, but has elements of comparison, dislike and hatred, explains counselling psychologist Jeremy Bayer.

Read: How to bring the best out of your misguided kids

According to Bayer, sibling rivalry becomes a concern for almost all parents of two or more children.

Rivalry is jealousy, competition and fighting between brothers and sisters and often starts with the birth of the second child and can last into adulthood.

Jeremy Bayer, counselling psychologist

He says that sibling rivalry can be caused by unequal attention from parents and tends to worsen if conflict is not addressed.

Bayer advises that parental favouritism can fuel fighting and rivalry among children.

He explains that parents need to show their approval of all their children and instill self-acceptance in them from a young age.

If parents set a great example and there is equality, attention, and love... It can go a long way to decreasing tension and conflict.

Jeremy Bayer, counselling psychologist

Also read: No ifs, ands, or buts: The problem with authoritarian parenting

He emphasised the importance of equal discipline and says parents must focus on quashing animosity between siblings.

Bayer advises that fostering individuality in children and spending time alone with each child can go along way to make them each feel loved.

He maintains that early sibling rivalry can continue in adulthood and split apart families, if not addressed at a young age.

Take a listen to his expert advice and callers share their experiences:

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