Any family with more than one child wants help with preventing sibling rivalry. Even with one child, this beast can rear its head with cousins or friends. The best way to prevent or eliminate rivalry is by not negatively comparing your child to anyone else, especially a sibling. You will not have rivalry if each child is loved, accepted and impressed with how much you value him or her for being who they are. Do your best to make no room for comparing your child to anyone in a way that would communicate being of lesser value. Being certain that each child contributes to the family and being certain that no one feels left out also prevent rivalry. Guide each child to know his or her value, worth and importance.
Children benefit as well from having “extra” moms and dads who delight in them and make them feel special. This helps prevent rivalry. Discouraging grandparents or other relatives from showing partiality or preferences also helps. If you find someone showing partiality to one of your children, you will need to speak to that person. It can be very damaging to both that child and to the child that gets ignored.
If you have more than one child, do your best to make time for Mommy or Daddy to spend special time alone with each child, no less than once a week whenever possible. Our culture is so busy that we often find it difficult to spend daily time alone or give focused attention to each child, even when we know that it works wonders for all children. So we catch a moment here and there as best we can, which helps. But some time alone outside the home makes it even more special. If you have more than two children, you might have to make a schedule to put on the refrigerator in order to keep track of taking turns to go on errands. Make a chart with each name and a place after the names to note or check off when that child had a “special day” and where they went. Even if the child only gets one time every few weeks outside the home, this will benefit everyone. When you have a child alone in the car with you they have your undivided attention and will usually talk your ear off (if you leave off the DVD player and refrain from texting). At younger ages, they don’t really care where they go with you as long as they have you to themselves.