Why you shouldn't worry about sibling rivalry

Cynthia Whitham, LCSW and Associate Director of the UCLA Parenting and Children's Friendship Program, explains why parents shouldn't worry about sibling rivalry
Why Parents Shouldn't Worry About Sibling Rivalry
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Why you shouldn't worry about sibling rivalry

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Before I had my second child, I read all about how to welcome your second child, how to treat the older child, I happened to space my children according to Doctor Brassilton's schedule on what he thought was good space. There's a lot of advice about sibling rivalry, and I got to tell you, it doesn't always work. My 2 wonderful children got along great as little kids, but when adolescence started happening, middle school started happening, they were at each others' throats. A lot of jealousy. A lot of competition. You love one more than you love me etc. And all kids say this. And I don't even know if they mean it. But they sure know that it gets mom and dad when you say you love her more than you love me. You love him more than you love me. When kids squabble, best thing - don't get into it. Try to stay out of it. Let them solve their own problems. Unless one kid is really beating up on the other, obviously you have to rescue your child or if one kid is very verbally mean. Yes, you have to stop that. But in general, sometimes if your kids get along, sometimes play well together, sometimes you hear them laughing and just doing fine, you'll know that you have probably done a lot of the right things. Because that's the sign that temporary conflict is not as much of a problem as you thought.

Cynthia Whitham, LCSW and Associate Director of the UCLA Parenting and Children's Friendship Program, explains why parents shouldn't worry about sibling rivalry

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Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW

Director, UCLA Parenting & Children’s Friendship Program

Cynthia G. Whitham, LCSW, Director of the UCLA Parenting and Children’s Friendship Program, has been training parents for over 30 years. She is the author of two books, Win the Whining War & Other Skirmishes: A family peace plan, and The Answer is NO: Saying it & sticking to it, which have been translated into nine languages. In addition to her UCLA group classes, Ms. Whitham has a private practice on the east and west sides of Los Angeles. In 2000, she spent a month training clinicians at the National Institute of Mental Health of Japan. A lively speaker, Ms. Whitham does presentations and trainings for schools and organizations. Ms. Whitham raised two happy, healthy, and (relatively) well-behaved children (she thinks that may be the best credential of all). Daughter Miranda McLeod is a fiction author and is in a PhD program at Rutgers University. With sadness, Cynthia tells us that her son Kyle died in 2007, within months of graduating from San Francisco State University.

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