I am looking for advice or shared experiences on how to deal with competition among siblings. I have been trying my best to deal with this issue effectively, but things don't seem to improve much. I have the feeling I am neglecting something and I am not sure where to look.
I have three young children. The two oldest (a 6yo boy and a 4yo girl) are often fighting (verbally but sometimes also physically). They have two very different personalities, the boy more patient and competitive, the girl impatient (about everything!) and imaginative. There are bad days when everything seems to be of issue, and good days when they find ways to play well together and also separately at times.
On bad days,we try to reason with them and encourage turn-taking, but often I resort to separation, when all else fails and I don't know what else to do. Does that help? Not sure it does, in the end.
What bothers me most is the fact that often, everything one child does becomes instantly what the other wants (which then degenerates into a fight) or, worse, when one is praised for a good deed or behavior, the other immediately asks to be praised to. It almost seems as if they are constantly competing for our approval (my husband's and mine), yet we have been very careful not to make comparisons among the two and we try to divide our attention equally among them. I honestly don't fell we have neglected one in favor of the other. We also have a toddler (19 mo), who does take away some attention from them, but we do spend a whole lot of time together (the children and I especially), since the kids are not in school and I chose to stay at home with them.
Anyone out there with a similar experience?