There’s something great about having a functioning family. Mom and dad make sure that the kids are doing well all around. The siblings play together and share problems they don’t want to discuss with their parents. Of course, there are arguments between the kids from time to time. This is perfectly normal and happens in every family. Some siblings argue more often than others. And sometimes it can really get down to business. It is not uncommon for the sparks to fly.
Table of contents
Why Are Sibling Relationships Often Problematic?
As long as children always manage to settle their disputes, that’s okay. Did you know that most kids fight because they are squabbling for their parents’ attention? Subconsciously, that is, without realizing it, everyone wants “as big a piece of the pie as possible.” This means wanting as much love, recognition, and not least pocket money or gifts from their parents as possible.
This need is in all of us and is not a bad thing. So we learn very early how to assert ourselves against others in order to get what we want.
However, this does not always have to involve war. Diplomacy also leads to the goal. Diplomacy means settling conflicts by negotiating compromises.
You have to learn this diplomacy at the latest when a new sibling is on the way. “Mom is pregnant!” – not only dad is happy about this news, but also the big sibling, who is longing for a playmate anyway.
Joy About The Offspring
Most often, the first moment you are happy that the family will soon become even larger. During pregnancy, you like to caress the baby bump and talk to him. You imagine how you can take care of the baby and support mom in her tasks.
However, it is important to know about the downsides of the next period as well. After all, a baby brings with it quite a bit of work. It’s only natural that your parents will have a little less time for you than before. Rest assured: this phase will also pass as soon as the baby has become more independent.
The more attention the little one gets, the more likely it is that siblings will become jealous. Do you know this? You don’t feel quite right then and feel sad because mom and dad seem to like the baby much better.
This is because babies are still much more dependent on their parents. They can’t eat, play, drink or go to the bathroom on their own. Almost always, mom has to take care of the baby and make sure it has everything it needs. Only when the little one is asleep can she take a breather.
Then it looks to you as if she is only thinking about the little one and has no time for you anyway.
Do’s & Don’ts
Some big siblings then think that you probably get more attention if you scream, cry and whine. After all, the baby does nothing else and is constantly cared for.
You are all the more confused when mom and dad react with incomprehension.
Keep reminding yourself that your parents are under stress because the baby needs them. Your whining is making the situation worse for them.
Talk to your parents about how you feel. Feel free to tell them that you feel neglected. But also accept it if they tell you that they love you but need to spend more time with the baby right now.
If you want, you can offer to help them out a little. Take on new household tasks or let them show you how to take care of the baby. Mom and dad will be happy that you are trying to make things easier for them. Then they will have more time and cuddles for you.
Worksheet For The Text
1) Explain the term diplomacy.
2) Why are sibling relationships sometimes problematic? Have you had any experiences with this? Write down everything you can think of.
3) What can you do when the baby arrives? How should you react if you feel neglected?
Photo: HalfPoint / bigstockphoto.com