How to handle sibling rivalry to Avoid Family Hatred

How to handle sibling rivalry

The family is supposed to be the most united unit of the society; not only because members are closely related by blood, but it is a small body which members most likely share common values. Although the structure of the family mimics a larger institution, it is more accessible and much easier for family members to understand themselves over other members of the community.

An ideal family is also supposed to have an advantage of living peacefully and happily within its members. Unfortunately, not all families have been able to accomplish family goals. Some family members have become their worst enemies and consume each other with rage.

Most family hatred begin as rivalry among family members like sibling-sibling misunderstanding but evolves to a much bigger issue that goes out of control.

Causes of Hatred Among Siblings

Several factors contribute to rivalry among siblings and family hatred as a whole. However, the following are some of the notable ones:
  • Poor parenting: When children are not well trained, they lack manners that can enable them to associate peacefully with other family members. Such misbehavior can lead to dissociation or rivalry among siblings who may not find it comfortable being around one another.
  • Simple Misunderstanding: A little misunderstanding can lead to a serious rivalry among siblings. Unfortunately, there must be misunderstanding but it all depends on how it is being handled.
  • Peer influence: What the children see others doing either in school or in the neighborhood can shape how they behave among themselves. Parents play vital roles in raising their children, but the society have a huge influence as well.
  • Ideological changes: When people are exposed to other beliefs, ideology and information, they are likely to change their attitude. This can be bad news if such a child is exposed to negative ideologies which can affect how they treat other family members.
  • Unforgiveness: when the siblings do not forgive themselves the probability of them hating each other is high. Unforgiveness is one of the major causes of rivalry among siblings and other family members.
  • Lack of family values and ethics: Moral values enable people to know what is right or wrong. When this lacks, siblings can even hurt themselves without knowing. This may feel like something to ignore when they are still young, but as they grow older, the bad memories may continue haunting them.

How to Settle Children Rivalry and Avoid Family Hatred

It is important to avoid hatred among family members because having a happy family is one of the most important things in life.

The following tips will enable you as a parent or guardian to avoid hatred within your family and settle siblings' rivalry among your children.
How to handle sibling rivalry to Avoid Family Hatred

1. Learn to understand each of your child:

One of the strongest weapons in winning war against hatred in the family is being able to understand each of your family members. Understanding your children, for instance, will enable you know their strength and weak points. This will make it easier for you to know how to approach them to settle issues between them.

2. Teach your children common moral values

Moral values play vital roles in shaping the family and the society at large. Simple rules like “Do not steal”, “Do not fight”, “Do not kill”, can go a long way. The implications of not having such values in place is that the siblings will commit them and end up hurting themselves. When people get hurt, they respond to it and such response may be paying back or hating their offenders.

Related: These are your roles and responsibilities as father in the family?

3. Be attentive and sensitive

Most parents make the mistake of ignoring their children’s words and behaviors. Your children’s body languages when they are with one another can tell a lot about the state of their relationships. Whereby you realize that a certain child feels uncomfortable among other siblings or singled out, then something has to be done.

4. Respond to every single report

If a child reports another sibling to you, respond immediately irrespective of how ridiculous the report sounds.

When your child says “Mummy/Daddy, brother is laughing at me”, move in to either give a warning or call the reporter to yourself. Handling such a simple issue gives all your children the impression that you can handle bigger ones. Therefore, whenever they have misunderstanding that can lead to rivalry, they would invite you to settle it. In contrast, not offering solution to their rivalries will make them act by themselves.

5. Avoid impartiality but don’t be neutral

When you handle issues between your children, ensure that you listen very well to both sides. When you know who is right or wrong, be clear about it. Condoling a child without figuring out and plainly telling that the offender is wrong does not solve the issue. It either encourages the other sibling to repeat the act or gives the victim a sense of poor judgment.

6. Emphasize love and forgiveness

Love in a woman's hand

Emphasize and teach your children the need to love and forgive others and the danger of hatred. This should not only focus on loving their fellow siblings but everyone around them. When your children learn to love truly and forgive one another, they will find it hard to hate themselves and this will prevent rivalry.

7. Organize events to connect family members

In cases where siblings were brought-up separately, it takes effort for them to get to understand themselves. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the parent, especially the father, to always ensure that family reunion takes place.

Even siblings who grew up together can become strangers when they have been away for too long. The long period of separation can make them judge themselves based on reports not based on the reality. So, in this case, a little misunderstand can lead to hatred or long-term rivalry.

8. Don’t express love if it is not a general one

Parents are fond of having besties among their children or sharing children among mother-father favorites. This does not help to unite the family members, instead, it only creates division. If you engage in such unbalanced love as a parent, you are indirectly making other siblings to feel forsaken.

It is natural to find one child more favorite but for the sake of avoiding hatred and rivalry, ensure you balance up your love and hide some feelings if necessary.

Related: Most important roles and responsibilities of mom.

9. Appreciate everyone

Express that you care about all your children and the role they play in the family. One child must always be the most hardworking or obedient. While awarding such a child is not bad, do not demonize the other siblings who do not meet up your expectations. Doing so will lead to jealousy that can result in others hating the "Holy child".

10. Make discipline a priority

Discipline your children when you go wrong. They need to learn the consequences of their actions and the reward of good deeds. Discipline them to respect others including their siblings. How they associate with other siblings can determine how they will behave around outsiders, after all, “Charity begins at home.”

When you discipline your child in love, respect and peaceful coexistence, the family will be united and happy, and hatred will not have a place.

“Train-up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” - Proverbs 24:6

A home without discipline will hardly live in harmony and love. One key factor to building a happy family is the presence of discipline.

11. Do not blackmail or abuse your partner

How you treat your spouse in the presence of your children can be a lesson to them. When you constantly abuse their father or mother, they too will think it is normal to abuse others.

It also dangerous to tell a child bad things about their father or mother. This will condense their minds with negativity that can influence their thoughts. When a child’s mind is clouded with hate, bitterness and anger, he/she will likely develop bad behaviors toward fellow siblings.

12. Teach your children financial independence:

How financial freedom can prevent family hatred

When children grow-up without having academic, professional and financial success, they tend to place all their burdens on family members who have succeeded. Where the family member, say a sibling, fail to keep throwing money as others expect, hatred can set in. Your children have a greater chance hating one other if a few succeed and others do not. Therefore, it is important to send your children to school and teach them how to live independently and meet their financial goals.

Related: Tips for personal financial freedom


Several factors contribute to rivalry among siblings. While the excuse can be as big as the world, it all dates back to their upbringing. Therefore, as a parent it is important to nurture your children in a manner that they will not end-up hating themselves and causing divisions and chaos in the family as they grow old.
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