Sibling rivalry can be a big test for the stay at home dad to deal with. This rivalry can be quite competitive as siblings compete for their parent’s attention, but it is normal and actually leads to relationship development. Even though this is the case with siblings a lot of moms and dads find it hard to comprehend the constant bickering associated with this bonding process.
It is essential that the dad shows no favouritism during this period and distribute his attention, discipline and love evenly because each child is different and the way to address them will be varied as well.
It must be understood that all children are different than the next and that their personalities may alter during the growing process, therefore, making comparisons or hoping one could be the same as the other will only add fuel to the sibling fire already burning. The best course of action is to appreciate the differences that exist. Keep in mind that although the kids may compete fiercely and argue consistently in their youth this could all alter as adults, of course, this is not written in stone.
When to Get Involved
It is up to the home dad to eliminate as much of the actual fighting as possible and to also reduce the situations where they tease one another or instigate because this can be just as damaging. It is not recommended that the dad interferes at the first sign of a disturbance, instead, he should listen and allow siblings the opportunity to iron out the problem alone before it escalates.
The home dad must evaluate the sibling rivalry with an open mind and take action in accordance. If he notices one child is being the bully he should correct the issue, however, he must be sure this is the case and not place blame prematurely. Typically it is quite difficult to get the true story from the kids and you don’t want them to constantly squeal to you about the other, therefore, it is to your benefit to address the conflict and not choose one over the other.
The dad can always attempt to control the situation by altering their attention by taking them outside to get involved in some family fun. If the conflict at hand surrounds the goal of achieving attention, it is up to the dad to make sure no one gets it. There will be times when excessive fighting calls for the kids be separated for a brief period. A cooling down period in separate rooms in the house will suffice.
The Difference in Age
Often times the parents will debate if the age gap makes a difference in the sibling rivalry and whether or not there is a certain gap is better than another, however, it should be known that no age difference is better or worse. If they are closer in age they might be closer, but it could also lead to conflicts over parental attention and toys.
The essential thing here is that the home dad enjoys quality time with all of his children equally. It is not unusual that the firstborn receive more attention in the beginning. However, as other children arrive it is vital that he divide that attention and get to know the special qualities each child has to offer.
Good family time is crucial, this goes without saying, but it must be ensured that all of the children will be able to participate fully and have fun. Do not do things that would cause the younger siblings to struggle to compete with the older ones or this will only cause them to become frustrated and resentful.