Preventing Sibling Rivalry: Six Strategies to Build a Jealousy-free Home

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Simon and Schuster, 2001 - Family & Relationships - 207 pages
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If you are like most parents, you cross your fingers hoping and praying that little Max will fall head over heels in love with new baby Ruby. But did you know there are practical steps that you can take to foster healthy, nurturing sibling bonds prior to baby Ruby's arrival on the scene? Dr. Sybil Hart says that you can do much more than wait nervously and wish for your children to love one another. Yes, temperament and luck have something to do with the constant squabbling that tears many households apart, but there's actually a burgeoning science of infant emotions that helps explain the connection between jealousy and friendship. Dr Hart, a leading expert in this area of child development, draws upon her landmark emotion research and her experience as a child therapist to show how parents can help their very young children interact in positive ways.

In fact, parents don't need to wait for the next child to arrive on the scene to begin addressing sibling conflict. According to Dr. Hart and growing numbers of parenting experts, the key to happy and emotionally well-balanced sibling relationships depends on how you and your child are getting along right now. In other words, it pays to plan ahead.

A comprehensive, practical, and first-ever guide to exploring jealousy in infants, "Preventing Sibling Rivalry" shows how some conventional childrearing advice like wide sibling spacing can be detrimental, and teaches you strategies for setting up a jealousy-free home, including:

How to measure an infant's jealousy temperament with an easy-to-use test How to distinguish between normal and unhealthy jealousyWhy the arrival of a new baby deepens the father's bond with olderchildrenWhy spacing siblings only two years apart fosters family cohesivenessHow cultivating early social skills like eye-contact, smiling, laughter, and physical affection promotes secure mother-infant attachment and the foundation for sibling bonds

"Preventing Sibling Rivalry" offers a program to fit every family. Perfect for on-the-spot advice as well as for parents who wish to plan ahead, this invaluable guide will help mothers and fathers create healthier, happier sibling and parent relationships. Whether a couple has planned the next birth, is surprised by the news of a second child on the way, or already has three or four at home, this is the must-have for every parent bringing a new child into the world.


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Preventing sibling rivalry: six strategies to build a jealousy-free home

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Years of emotion research have led Hart (human development and family studies, Texas Tech Univ.) to believe that jealousy develops in infancy. Many ideas that other parenting books offer as fact she ... Read full review


Four Myths about Infant Jealousy
The Paradox of Jealousy
Places in the Triangle
How to Measure Your Infants
Hot Warm and Cool Jealousy Temperaments
Jealousy Profiles of Infants
Closely Spaced Siblings
Preventing Sibling Rivalry
How to Develop Sibling Bonds
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About the author (2001)

Sybil Hart, PH.D., is assistant professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Texas Tech University. Previously, she has been a childcare center director and consultant, school psychologist, and therapist. She lives with her three children in Lubbock, Texas.

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