A sibling is a child’s jealousy over the birth of a new child in a family. In other words, a sibling is a sense of competition between siblings due to the birth of the next child. It usually occurs in children aged 3-10 years. A sibling is usually indicated by rejection with the birth of his younger sibling, crying, withdrawing from his environment, staying away from parents, or even committing violence to his younger siblings (hitting, pressing, pinching, etc.). The presence of a new sister or brother can be a major crisis for a child.
At that time, he was afraid that his parents’ love would be divided into his younger siblings, so there was a feeling of hatred and not accepting the birth of a new sibling. The parents take an important role in avoiding the emersion of jealousy. In general, children are jealous because they will lose the complete attention of parents. Jealousy in children is the strongest jealousy during their youth. Competition in children occurs to compete for parents’ attention and limited resources in material form. If siblings are not prepared from the beginning to face new members, it is feared there will be sibling rivalry.
What is Sibling Rivalry?
Sibling rivalry is a competition between siblings to get love, affection, and attention from their parents, or to get recognition and more.
Sibling Rivalry usually is a fit of jealousy, competition, and contention between brothers and sisters.
This is a common occurrence in all parents who have two or more children.
Sibling Rivalry or disputes that occur in children are common for children between the ages of 5-11 years. According to expert psychology, relations between children of such age are ambivalent with love hate relationships.
This competition, a form of sibling rivalry, can lead to extreme emotional reactions in siblings. This sibling rivalry situation is quite natural, especially for families that have more than one child. It could happen to his brother who is jealous of his sister, or vice versa. Even though it’s natural, it’s better for parents to remain vigilant, especially if the intensity of the feud is increase. When parents do not immediately solve the problem, it will affect the child’s psychological development. Children can become anxious, irritable, and have difficulty concentrating. Then, starting to appear aggression in children even a decrease in mental behavior. Despite the fact that sibling conflict as part of development, sibling rivalry must still be resolved. The conflict will be even bigger and have an impact on everyone in their environment. If a dispute or competition has involved aggressive behavior, such as shouting continuously, throwing things, hurting physically, or insulting excessively, it is necessary to consult to an expert.
There are some factors that influence a child’s response. They are
- The attitude of parents
- Father’s role,
- Long time to part with mother,
- Regulations on hospital visits
- How the child is prepared for a change.
However, this phenomenon of sibling rivalry also has positive aspects. They are:
- Encourage children to overcome and appreciate differences by developing several important skills.
- A quick way to compromise and negotiate.
- Control the urge to act aggressively.
Therefore, in order for this positive aspect to be achieved, parents must become a good facilitator. Preparations for overcoming sibling rivalry include:
- Explain to the child about his position that he is still loved by the father and mother.
- Give an understanding that there will not be a mother to distinguish love from each of her children
- Involve the child in preparing for the birth of his sister
- Invite the child to see objects or equipment related to the birth of the baby
- Invite children to communicate with babies since they were still in the womb
- Tell that having a new brother is very pleasant.
- Give an explanation that if you have a new sister, you can play together
- More often spend time with children, so he does not feel a lack of affection.
Sister’s adaptation to according to the stage of development
The child’s response to the birth of a baby boy or girl depends on age and level of development. Usually, children are less aware of the presence of new members, having to feel to compete and a feeling of fear of losing parental love. Negative behavior can arise, it is an indication of the degree of stress in these children.
This behavior includes:
- Sleep problems.
- Increased efforts to attract the attention of parents and other family members.
- Return to childish behavior patterns such as bedwetting and thumb sucking.
Toddlers adaptation (under three years)
How to adapt at this stage of development including:
- Change sleep patterns with children in a few weeks before birth.
- Asking help the family and friends of their children by asking how they feel about the presence of new members.
- Teach parents to accept the feelings shown by their children.
- Strengthen affection for children.
Older child adaptation
The developmental stage in older children is categorized at the age of 3-12 years. In this stage, children are further aware of the changes in the body of the mother and may be aware of the presence of the baby. Children will pay attention to the development of their younger siblings.
The response of adolescents also depends on their level of development. Teenagers may feel happy with the presence of new members, but there are also those who are late in their development. Adaptation is shown by teenagers who face the presence of new members in their families, for example:
- Reduced bonding with parents.
- Teens face their development.
- Indifference to pregnancy unless it interferes with their activities.
- Engagement and want to help with preparation for the baby.