Raising Siblings Without Rivalry – Part 1 – MBFLP 253-1

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Dealing with sibling rivalry

One of the questions we hear most often is, “How do you deal with sibling rivalry?” 

We had eight children, and six boys in a row, so we had plenty of competition and challenge to work with! A certain amount is normal and can be accommodated even within the family, but it has to be guided and supervised to keep it from becoming bullying or persecution.

Girls have their own temptations too, especially in emotional and relationship areas; we’ve known women who grew up as “mean girls” in their own family, and struggled with broken relationships decades after they left home.

We didn’t want that in our own family – we wanted our children to grow up to be friends – so we tried to take positive steps to build and protect relationships between our kids. And like Tedd Tripp says, we trained behaviors in the youngest, in the process of teaching the hearts and attitudes of all!

Principles for Preventing Sibling Rivalry

Home Should Be Safe – Nobody should feel like they have to keep their guard up when they cross the family threshold. That goes for spouses, too.

Zero Tolerance for Bullying – or Provoking – Bigger kids can tyrannize young kids, but younger kids can cause lots of trouble for older siblings, too. Proverbs 6:16 says God hates one who causes discord among brothers – so bickering and arguing are important, not just kid stuff.

See the Family as A Team – You won’t score together, if you are fighting one another instead of your enemy or opponent. Encourage your kids to pull together and support each other, especially in front of the rest of the world.

Enjoy Teasing and Wrestling but Don’t Cross the Line! – It’s fun until it’s not, for somebody. If you continue after someone calls “stop” then you’ve become a bully – see “zero tolerance” above.

Recognize How Different Your Kids May Be – and Keep an Eye on Them – Some kids can tolerate teasing and rough-housing, and some can’t. Don’t let either set the tone for everybody, but guide their interaction to head off offenses and hurts. That also goes for the child who’s quick to take offense — that’s no help either.

Raising kids without rivalry at home


This week we’re trying a new format – three shorter episodes on the same topic! Look for parts 2 and 3 later this week and let us know what you think

And if you have suggestions, questions, or requests, leave us a message on our Listener Response Line – (919) 295-0321

Next Segment – Making Competition Helpful, not Hurtful