How to Deal with Sibling Rivalry
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Learn some parenting Advice from parenting expert Eileen Hayes, such as how to handle with sibling rivalry.


Anastasia Baker: Do you ever feel that being a mom or dad is like preceding over world war 3 trying to break up your darling children as they tare each others hair out, a certain amount of jealousy and rivalry between siblings is pretty inevitable, and normal, each child in the family would prefer to have your love and attention to themselves. And accepting that this is not possible can cause problems, Eileen Hayes, is a parenting expert and editor of your family magazine. Welcome thank you for coming in today, isn't sibling rivalry inevitable is there anything we can really do about it? Eileen Hayes: Well it is inevitable Anastasia and I think that's actually quite comforting for parents to know, you know it's tempting when you have a second baby or another addition to your family to think of things going to be perfect. And a least of you know that there are quite likely to be falling out fighting being jealous of each other you don't feel you are doing something wrong. Anastasia Baker: Is that any way that we can help the situation? Eileen Hayes: Well there are a lots of things you can do to help, first of all when you are actually expecting a new baby, you can prepare your first child for that, they might be reading books and a you know as you carrying a old photographs of when they were babies so they can actually see they've had a turn themselves, you mostly don't need to be jealous, getting you are giving them a doll to practice on you know perhaps at least telling your child to prefer sometimes be like she forget that and they don't say until you know its really obvious, so there are lots of ways to actually prepare for it, and then you know lots of things to think about after the babies born like accepting the fight there might be some regression to babies behavior, you know not to worry and if your older child wants to look at lot, and lot. Anastasia Baker: They become more Babyish, when the baby comes along yeah. Eileen Hayes : Yeah you think about that from their poin of view, they look at this baby who just lies there you know, has a nappy you doesn't do very much and everybody is cooing over them saying how wonderful they are yeah what about that, you know what ever is they are doing on I want to do. Anastasia Baker: So that's quiet normal behavior and play out to it you know. Eileen Hayes: Yeah I mean the more you can let your older child, be a little bit of a baby again for a while give them a carry when they need it even let them go bye to bottle what ever that really does help, really does. Anastasia Baker: What sort of things that can aggravate the situation like the age gap is there? Eileen Hayes: Yeah, I mean a lot of parents are mentioning that they think you know is it worse with certain age gap so some research that show that the worst jealousy seems to happen with the 2-4 years age gap putting a pity so this actually that's very often you know what people choose, but you cant. Anastasia Baker: So greater age gap. Eileen Hayes: Yeah, I mean over 5 years are very big age gap, or a very tiny age gap, oddly enough you know may be under about 18 months, so really close together seems to participate less, but you know that's not the only reason people plan their families so you cant just to for that reason, that's not. Anastasia Baker: what about birth order might that make a difference? Eileen Hayes: Yeah, there are some evidence for the oldest child is often the most jealous and if you think about they always had you to themselves for at least a while, and the longer that while less the more they get to used to us they cant be more recent full, when another one comes along, but again not this order always lie sometimes the middle child feels left, I you know for they cant ever measure up to the older one or the other one is the baby and that sort of you know so. Anastasia Baker: What about these 3 in the family that's like I was the 3rd and they just to want to know, any way was that to get together. Eileen Hayes: Did you not get choose to be the baby now feels that pats your baby little feel better. Anastasia Baker: And they are odd number they are 3 isn't. Eileen Hayes: It is, its more tricky I think with 3, it chances always I mean if they are closer age as there might always be somebody left out, or if you've got 2 boys and a girl I mean it cant be tricky but you know all these things can be over calmness. Anastasia Baker: What about having more girls, all girls or all boys would that help? Eileen Hayes: I mean it doesn't seem to matter in the times of sibling rivalry, you know you can go above you can go on very well and two girls are really high at each others throughout it doesn't you know it doesn't follow that by having the same sex or different sex you know that will make a lots of better know, it doesn't seems too. Anastasia Baker: So can you give us some advise for parents that are really at that with son with fighting more in children, and this is just must be very unpleasant to live without everyday, what advise can you give them? Eileen Hayes: Exactly, well I mean I think it's sometimes parents are against thing is going to better when children get older, and at some times it gets worst you know suddenly when the toddler realizes that the baby snatch in their toys or knock in over that module that they actually do get annoyed about it or an older child starts schooling the younger one is jealous, and things they are having something they don't, and a lot of that can lead to actually fight scenario going on each other you know as you said in the beginning World War III, I mean I think its very tempting when you see that to rushing and all comes blaze and I think I have to sort this out, but actually if you can try to be calm and let them sort out to some extend themselves that tends to what better, now you cant do that as they are really being each other out, but you can use what are called mediation techniques that it's actually saying to them no, no I cant I wont have this we cant hurt each other, what can we do you know what's the problem you both want the toy or you both want a particular TV program how can we sort to out, and even with the tiny children we are surprise you by saying oh what we could take tones or you know she can watch hers first and I will watch my next my so that they come up with resolution quite well. And I think you know handed over them makes tough. Anastasia Baker: What about spending time with one of them you know spending you know giving them that time because that's what it's about isn't. Eileen Hayes: Definitely, one of the one other things is hard when you pressed yourself when you are busy mom, is finding time for every body, but it really helps of every child in the family gets a little bit individual time attention, from you to do something special with one yeah either you know each having their own special time whether its reading a story playing a game just listening to that day or whatever things, yeah, and have a big thing that will be fall in to the trap is, not comparing I mean its very easy, you know he hears of saying oh well you know that she was walking a few months earlier than that sort, you know she could read it before you that's fatal if you start those comparisons they start to thing that's about the favoritism going on there, and that can be really lead to more quarrels and arguments so you will be on your guard a little bit about that. Anastasia Baker: What about those parents that have just given up, you know that, you know that doesn't seem any thing that they can do what advice would you give them or is sometimes there are cases; there is nothing they can do. Eileen Hayes: Well, I think it mean sometimes with the best word in the world there are children who wont get on, you know you don't always know the reason but occasionally there are children who doesn't never going to be great friends and they may have such deferent's personalities, you know just be so different in many ways that actually the best thing you can do is keep them a part for a bit at least, you know get you don't try to force them together, don't constantly make them play together, get another friend grand for one of them are, you know send one to play a friends house so that they do actually get a bit time apart, that can actually often be the best way of dealing with that, but family outings and things too so that they also get the time together to trying , try and get advice. Anastasia Baker: Yes but try and dilute the situation. Eileen Hayes: Yeah, you know don't especially as they get older, you know there is no point in keeping forcing them together, if it's always troubles. Better not to. Anastasia Baker: I mean certainly in my case my sister I dint speak 20 years, and it was learning when we started getting married and having done all these jealousies faded away and you know we came together at that point. Eileen Hayes: Yeah Anastasia Baker: Within the last 10 years of really. Eileen Hayes: Anastasia that's an interesting point because parents sometimes note us, that there are you go in and out of ages when you are compatible you know children can go on very well at one age and stage and then really not going on well another, just because of the way it is, but sometimes as you say is an adult life, you know you actually began to have things in common and you know things make your friends again, in adult life so never give up you know you could have a good life Anastasia Baker: Its circumstances changed. Eileen Hayes: Yeah exactly. Anastasia Baker: So what are you tip top tips for sort of happy loving ideal house hold. Eileen Hayes: Well, I mean I think one is about giving individual time and attention to each child, you know noticing their special qualities, and that's odd as a parent and I know myself I've got 4 children and you can be really pleased with one for perhaps being very supporting but actually we didn't like another because they are not you know that they are singing and dancing what ever is they do and is looking for the special things that each child does, and giving that you know some attention and also you know very much about not making this comparisons are really guarding against you know putting one up against the other that really as just fatal lots of recipe for disaster in families but quite hard to do, and again you know like we said before may be just packing of slightly giving them sometimes an opportunity to work out their own relationship you know certain amount of rough and tumble arguments negotiations is actually healthy and its really useful for life out side the family, or you know when they go to nursery or school that might actually had a bit of practice a lot which an only doesn't get, so don't feel you've always got to solve it you know give them a certain amount of time to actually do that. Anastasia Baker: Eileen Hayes thank you very much for coming in today, really helpful. Eileen Hayes: Thank you with pleasure.