How should you deal with your teenagers' rivalry?


Parents have a major role to play when dealing with sibling rivalry, especially when it comes to teenagers. Each child is unique and has to be appreciated for his or her own merits. Teenagers fight because they are jealous and competitive, and parents can do a lot to influence the relationships between their children and to resolve conflicts. Make the rules for acceptable behavior clear, and stress cooperation as one of the hard and fast rules of family interaction. Sibling rivalry, as well as expressing emotions such as anger and frustration, are normal but have to be dealt with as impartially as possible.

The first thing to remember is that sibling rivalry in teenagers takes on a whole different perspective, as adolescents have to deal with so many other issues. Stress can cause frustration, and the overwhelming feelings that stress can bring up in teenagers can also lead to conflict. Teenagers are at an age when they are defining themselves as individuals and breaking away from their parents. Parents have to be careful not to play favorites. Listen to your teens and pay attention to what they are fighting about so that you can intervene to help resolve the conflict if necessary. For older children, family meetings may be a way to help deal with rivalry. This is a good time to hear everyone's opinions to resolve issues between family members. Family meetings are the time to bond and to build trust and unity. A family forum for resolving conflicts can develop important social skills in your teen, including compromise, negotiation and accepting other people's point of view. Agree on ground rules for good communication; let everyone express how he feels, and make it clear that each person