One thing the baby boomer generation has taught us is to involve men more in the parenting process. It takes a couple of engaged parents to get ahead of sibling conflict. As baby boomer women went back to work in droves in the 1950s and 1960s, they began to expect dads to take a more active role in parenting. This involvement has been very slow to develop. Generation X  moms and dads continue, like their baby boomer parents, to both to be employed and frantically try to balance the sometimes tearing claws of work and family.

Sibling rivalry and warfare can be mitigated by not having one parent do it all, especially when that one parent is a working mom or dad. So if you have a new baby or toddler, middle schooler, teen or stepchildren  - sharing child care and is critical to sibling mental health and mitigating brothers and sister strife. Even though Dad’s in this economy have a lot on their plate, like working multiple jobs, women have an overflowing dish as well. Most face has full-time jobs, kids –and   many times step kids.

To help their older children adjust to new babies, new stepsiblings, the stress of two parents working –Mom’s and Dad s have to work as a team.

And let us not forget, diapers, dishes, driving, cooking, cleaning – that father’s need to share.

Involvement of Dad’s in actively caring, nurturing, and just having fun with these children can really make a difference in the siblings’ relationships and cut down on siblings’ resentment and strife now and really importantly -20, 30 or 40 years from now.

That’s when sibling ” I Hate You” stories start to rip open up and parents, who did not attend to sibling strife, often then find become the villains in those midlife I hate you tales.

Learn more about involving Dad’s to reduce sibling rivalry and strife and best of all raise happier kids.

About the Authors

Cathy Cress M.S.W.

Cathy Cress, M.S.W., holds a degree in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. She is the coauthor of Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships.

Kali Peterson MS, MPA

Kali Cress Peterson MS, MPA, is the co-author of Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships.

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