We normally associate bullying with classmates or people outside the home. However, it is not unusual for kids to be bullied by their siblings, whether it’s a brother or sister, either physically or mentally.
While sibling rivalry and bickering is pretty normal, when it goes a step further it is important you step in. If you are concerned about your kids behaviour towards each other, the following tips will help you get on top of it.
Don’t tolerate any form of aggressive behaviour
It is important you don’t tolerate any forms of aggressive behaviour. Kids who feel frustrated can often lash out, usually at their younger sibling, as they can struggle to control their emotions, but you should never tolerate it. Teaching your little one to control their emotions is the only way to stamp out this behaviour.
Watch out for 'gang ups'
If you have more than two children, a number of them can ‘gang up’ on just one. Sometimes this can be due the 'gang' feeling like the singled one is the favourite. Try to do activities together as a family so that your kids can learn their own strengths and the strengths of their siblings, and see that no one is better than the other.
Try to solve any problems
While it is important you don’t accept this kind of behaviour, you should look at the sibling who is doing the bullying as often they too can be going through something. Talk to them and see if you can sort of out together; getting to the root of the problem is definitely more productive than simply punishing them every time they do something wrong.
Raise your concerns with them
While it might be obvious to you that one sibling is bullying another, it might not be for them. Talk to your kids about the different kinds of bullying and how it can affect the victim and even the perpetrator.
Don’t take sides
It is important you don’t take sides when it comes to sibling bullying. While you no doubt want to protect the victim and punish the bully, you might in fact make things worse. Often, sibling bullying can stem from one child feeling they don’t get the attention the other does, so siding with one and constantly punishing the other is just going to reinforce their thoughts. When dealing with the bullying try to do so when both kids are there.