Hello!

57 Answers

“I’d appreciate some suggestions please. I have 2 & 1 year old girls. The 2 year old is generally pretty horrible to the 1 year old. She smacks, hits and hurts her quite often. We give them both 1 on 1 attention. We have tried the no, then time out, maybe we’re not doing it right? She has also started lashing out at daycare.” Do you have any tips for dealing with sibling rivalry?

Posted by Megan, 05/05/13

Want more real mum questions sent to you?


You'll need to check this email to complete your signup.
Ask your question
  • Sounds like she is jealous. Try finding out why hun. Sometimes it doesn’t end. Two years agi my sister 2 years younger than me was jealous I was engaged due to be married september 2012. So she and her bf got engaged and married four months later. She was jealous when I had the first grandchild too. Sometimes it gets worse but I pray your children grow up close and loving


  • Sounds like she is jealous of her sister. Ask her why she is being mean to her sister, but sibling rivalry is part of growing up.


  • I hope the kids are getting on a bit better these days


  • My kids are 2 and 4 and its never ending! I relish the times that they play together nicely


  • Sounds like a little jealousy


  • I think miss 2 is attention seeking. The naughty chair could work.


  • did you manage to resolve this?


  • She’ll have to be removed from her sister if she’s hurting her, but can you give her some one on one attention so she’s not resenting her sister so much?


  • Tough one they both want the attention


  • Im not sure there is a way to stop sibling rivalry…my sisters and I are grown adults and still have sisterly arguments LOL
    My kids fight and carry on to the extent where I now ignore most of it, but on the odd occasion when things get a tad too much I separate them! Time out in each of their rooms….


  • Hope this helps


  • Hop this helps


  • It seems strange that whenever the word sibling comes up, the word rivalry seems sure to follow despite the fact that there are many solid sibling relationships in families (brothers and sisters who like and enjoy one another). However, it is the rivalry that gets attention the proverbial squeaky wheel

    What causes sibling rivalry? Think about it. Siblings don’t choose the family they are born into, don’t choose each other. They may be of different sex, are probably of different age and temperament, and. worst of all, they have to share the one person or the two people they most want for themselves: their parents. Other factors include:
    ◾Position in the family, for example, the oldest child may be burdened with responsibilities for the younger children or the younger child spends his life trying to catch up with an older sibling;
    ◾Sex, for instance, a son may hate his sister because his father seems more gentle with her. On the other hand, a daughter may wish she could go on the hunting trip with her father and brother;
    ◾Age, a five and an eight year old can play some games together but when they become ten and thirteen, they will probably be poles apart.

    The most important factor, however, is parental attitude. Parents have been taught that they must be impartial but this can be extremely difficult. It’s inevitable that parents will feel differently about children who have different personalities with differing needs, dispositions. and place in the family. Picture the age-old conflict of the young child whining. “It’s not fair. Why can’t I stay up until nine-thirty like Johnny?” Fairness has nothing to do with it. Susie is younger and needs more sleep. It’s as simple as that, and parents are advised never to give in to the old “it’s not fair” strategy. Besides, when Susie is finally allowed to stay up until nine-thirty, it will seem a real privilege to her.

    Many parents feel that in order to be fair they must try to treat their children equally. It’s simply not possible, and it can be dehumanizing If a mother feels that when she hugs one child. she must stop and hug all of her children, hugs soon become somewhat meaningless in that family. When Susie has a birthday or is ill, she is the one who merits the special attention and presents. You can be sure that the other youngsters in the family no matter what they may say, recognize the inherent “fairness” of the situation.

    Ever since we decided that sibling rivalry is normal, we’ve had a terrible time figuring out what to do about it. However, here are some do’s and don’ts that may be helpful in dampening down sibling rivalry within a family:
    ◾Don’t make comparisons. (“I don’t understand it. When Johnny was her age, he could already tie his shoes.”) Each child feels he is unique and rightly so-he is unique, and he resents being evaluated only in relation to someone else. Instead of comparison, each child in the family should be given his own goals and levels of expectation that relate only to him.
    ◾Don’t dismiss or suppress your children’s resentment or angry feelings. Contrary to what many people think, anger is not something we should try to avoid at all costs. It’s an entirely normal part of being human, and it’s certainly normal for siblings to get furious with one another. They need the adults in their lives to assure them that mothers and fathers get angry, too, but have learned control and that angry feelings do not give license to behave in cruel and dangerous ways. This is the time to sit down, acknowledge the anger (“I know you hate David right now but you cannot hit him with a stick”). and talk it through.
    ◾Try to avoid situations that promote guilt in siblings. First we must teach children that feelings and actions are not synonymous. It may be normal to want to hit the baby on the head, but parents must stop a child from doing it. The guilt that follows doing something mean is a lot worse than the guilt of merely feeling mean. So parental intervention must be quick and decisive.
    ◾When possible, let brothers and sisters settle their own differences. Sounds good but it can be terribly unfair in practice. Parents have to judge when it is time to step in and mediate, especially in a contest of unequals in terms of strength and eloquence (no fair hitting below the belt literally or figuratively). Some long-lasting grudges among grown siblings have resulted when their minority rights were not protected.


  • It seems strange that whenever the word sibling comes up, the word rivalry seems sure to follow despite the fact that there are many solid sibling relationships in families (brothers and sisters who like and enjoy one another). However, it is the rivalry that gets attention the proverbial squeaky wheel.

    What causes sibling rivalry? Think about it. Siblings don’t choose the family they are born into, don’t choose each other. They may be of different sex, are probably of different age and temperament, and. worst of all, they have to share the one person or the two people they most want for themselves: their parents. Other factors include:
    ◾Position in the family, for example, the oldest child may be burdened with responsibilities for the younger children or the younger child spends his life trying to catch up with an older sibling;
    ◾Sex, for instance, a son may hate his sister because his father seems more gentle with her. On the other hand, a daughter may wish she could go on the hunting trip with her father and brother;
    ◾Age, a five and an eight year old can play some games together but when they become ten and thirteen, they will probably be poles apart.

    The most important factor, however, is parental attitude. Parents have been taught that they must be impartial but this can be extremely difficult. It’s inevitable that parents will feel differently about children who have different personalities with differing needs, dispositions. and place in the family. Picture the age-old conflict of the young child whining. “It’s not fair. Why can’t I stay up until nine-thirty like Johnny?” Fairness has nothing to do with it. Susie is younger and needs more sleep. It’s as simple as that, and parents are advised never to give in to the old “it’s not fair” strategy. Besides, when Susie is finally allowed to stay up until nine-thirty, it will seem a real privilege to her.

    Many parents feel that in order to be fair they must try to treat their children equally. It’s simply not possible, and it can be dehumanizing If a mother feels that when she hugs one child. she must stop and hug all of her children, hugs soon become somewhat meaningless in that family. When Susie has a birthday or is ill, she is the one who merits the special attention and presents. You can be sure that the other youngsters in the family no matter what they may say, recognize the inherent “fairness” of the situation.

    Ever since we decided that sibling rivalry is normal, we’ve had a terrible time figuring out what to do about it. However, here are some do’s and don’ts that may be helpful in dampening down sibling rivalry within a family:
    ◾Don’t make comparisons. (“I don’t understand it. When Johnny was her age, he could already tie his shoes.”) Each child feels he is unique and rightly so-he is unique, and he resents being evaluated only in relation to someone else. Instead of comparison, each child in the family should be given his own goals and levels of expectation that relate only to him.
    ◾Don’t dismiss or suppress your children’s resentment or angry feelings. Contrary to what many people think, anger is not something we should try to avoid at all costs. It’s an entirely normal part of being human, and it’s certainly normal for siblings to get furious with one another. They need the adults in their lives to assure them that mothers and fathers get angry, too, but have learned control and that angry feelings do not give license to behave in cruel and dangerous ways. This is the time to sit down, acknowledge the anger (“I know you hate David right now but you cannot hit him with a stick”). and talk it through.
    ◾Try to avoid situations that promote guilt in siblings. First we must teach children that feelings and actions are not synonymous. It may be normal to want to hit the baby on the head, but parents must stop a child from doing it. The guilt that follows doing something mean is a lot worse than the guilt of merely feeling mean. So parental intervention must be quick and decisive.
    ◾When possible, let brothers and sisters settle their own differences. Sounds good but it can be terribly unfair in practice. Parents have to judge when it is time to step in and mediate, especially in a contest of unequals in terms of strength and eloquence (no fair hitting below the belt literally or figuratively). Some long-lasting grudges among grown siblings have resulted when their minority rights were not protected.


  • If there’s fighting I separate them, it’s the only thing that works around here!


Post you answer
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

What is your answer to that question?
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account


Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your answer and join MoM:

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating
Join