Best way to deal with sibling rivalry

Robert Brooks, PhD Child Therapist and Author, shares advice for parents on the best methods for dealing with sibling rivalry between your cihldren
Best Ways to Deal with Sibling Rivalry
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Best way to deal with sibling rivalry

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Sibling rivalry is a natural occurrence in any family. And when it is there parents first of all have to honestly look at: Do I in any way contribute to it? Do I spend more time with one child than another? Do I actually favor one child? These are questions that parents have to honestly ask. But one of the things I've really struggled with is how can you try to minimize sibling rivalry? So I asked a lot of adults what do they remember about times where they felt that the parents gave them their undivided attention? And what it was is when they had time alone with a parent. So one of the things I've suggested to parents if you have young children and you're reading to them anyway or when you're playing with them, say, "When I read to you, when I play with you, even if the phone rings I'm not gonna get it. This is such a special time with you." And with a number of kids, even scheduling almost like appointments to say on this day I'm going to spend time with you, on this day I'm going to spend time with you, actually helps kids to feel things are fairer because they know they're going to have times during the week with the parent alone. This isn't totally going to do away with sibling rivalry, but what it does is it helps structure things in a way where a child feels, "I am really getting to spend time with each of my parents and I am getting time alone without any disruption from my siblings."

Robert Brooks, PhD Child Therapist and Author, shares advice for parents on the best methods for dealing with sibling rivalry between your cihldren

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Robert Brooks, PhD

Therapist & Author

Dr. Robert Brooks is a psychologist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.  He has lectured nationally and internationally and written extensively about the themes of resilience, parenting, family relationships, school climate, and balancing our personal and professional lives. He is the author or co-author of 15 books and has also appeared in several videos pertaining to helping children to become more responsible, self-disciplined, hopeful, and resilient.

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