The other day as i was having dinner with my Sister's family, i saw how well my brother in law handled a typical sibling rivarly & i thought it is worth mentioning here.
As with any other family with 2 children, my niece and nephew were vying over the iphone (what else?). My niece actually had the phone first but the younger brother insisted on having it.
In all (i really mean ALL) other family i know with 2 kids, the parent would order the elder to give in to the younger. Their rational is 'Because you are older!' or 'because he/she is still young!' I always felt that this way of handling the situation isn't very fair to the older kid. I get concern that the elder will grow up resenting the younger or feel that he/she hasn't got much a place at home. A friend made her older boy give in to the younger to a point where he actually questioned her in exasperation 'WHY DO I HAVE TO GIVE IN ALL THE TIME?'. Worst, another friend's younger boy punched his older brother who broke into tears. Instead of reprimanding the younger boy, the mother turned her entire attention on the younger one, get this, comforting him while the older boy sobbed alone. His father simply told the older boy 'AH, he's just a 'didi' (younger brother).' And that was the end it. Poor boy.
So what did my brother in law do? He simply told the boy that elder sister had the phone first and he had to wait for his turn. I know alot of parent insist on giving in to the younger kid because they don't want to manage a meltdown. But i feel this is a easy way out that will lead to a mountain of problems later on. If this is done repeatedly, the younger one will learn that all he has to do is to kick a HUGE fuss in order to get his way. Like the case of my friend's younger boy. He now throws a horrible tantrum to get his way and my friend is too deep into it that it is very, extremely difficult to manage him now that he is older.
I know it's so much easier said than done! But i am going to try! I believe if done rightly the first couple of times, it will a whole lot easier subsequently. I'll just have to bite the bullet first!