How to help your children become the best of friends
Be a good role model
Of course we all endeavour to treat our children fairly. When there is an argument try not to take sides or lose your temper. If possible, let them sort out their differences, but do step in if things are escalating, and give each child the opportunity to tell you their side of the story. Linda also suggests keeping your children away from ‘conflict’ situations – keep arguments with your partner out of sight and sound, unless you're sure you can handle them calmly and constructively.
Celebrate their differences
If the age gap between your children is small, it can be helpful to highlight differences between them in a positive way, in particular praising each child's unique achievements.
Make time for them
Spend time alone with each of your children. This is particularly important when a second child arrives – if possible, ask someone to look after the baby while you take your eldest to the park for an hour. Don’t abandon rituals that your rst-born loved sharing with you.
Communication is key
While sibling rivalry isn’t necessarily bad, it’s important not to let it get out of hand. Find non-confrontational times to talk about situations that have arisen, and deal with any emotions or feelings that are still causing problems.
Co-operation, not competition
Show your children how co-operation can be rewarding. Set co-operative tasks (such as building something together) rather than competitive ones (who can tidy their room rst).
Play to each child’s strengths
Find an activity that each child is good at – it might be art, sport or colouring in – and encourage them to develop their own interests.