The Sibling Rivalry Solution

The Sibling Rivalry Solution

Like all siblings, my grandchildren often have some rather nasty interactions with each other. When they do, I like to reprimand them by saying, “Be nice to each other! You might need a kidney some day!”

Unfortunately, for a lot of mothers and fathers, sibling rivalry is no joking matter. They are annoyed, alarmed, and saddened by the constant confrontations between their kids. And regrettably, when the parents try to referee the fights, that often tends to make things even worse.

But have you ever noticed that you rarely see nasty interactions when the children are playing together? That’s because sibling rivalry is all about competition whereas play is all about companionship. The kids are motivated to share, cooperate, get along, and all the other good things you want them to do because those things make the play activity more exciting, fun, and pleasurable.

So if your kids getting on each other’s nerves is getting on your nerves, consider enrolling them in a class together and/or regularly take them to Open Gym together at Romp n’ Roll. I think you will experience a significant reduction in your stress level as you witness considerable improvement in their relationship.

Michael K. Meyerhoff, Ed.D. (a.k.a. “Dr. Mike”) is a member of the management team at Romp n’ Roll. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Columbia University, he earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in human development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also held a position as a researcher with the Harvard Preschool Project. He may be contacted via e-mail at