Those of you with more than one child know it all too well. That competitive streak between siblings that will drive you nuts when it rears its ugly head. If your kids are anything like mine, they get along wonderfully, most of the time. But then, suddenly, as if from nowhere, they can’t even be in the same room together! While parents deal with this as a matter of course at home, it is always a challenge when it distracts from a teacher’s job in the classroom.

sibling_rivalryBeing a GT teacher, I often work with siblings in the same grade (twins) or in different grades. Even being part of different groups doesn’t always prevent sibling rivalry. For example, Sanaya and Ronan are sister and brother; Sanaya is in 3rd grade and Ronan is in first. The competition between them is fierce–each is always trying to prove they are better than the other.

When the two have tried to “prove to me” who is better, I have simply told them that their work speaks for itself. To my surprise, they took me literally and began putting their competitive spirit into their ScootPad practices. When I looked at the leaderboard, the other day, I was amused to see the fruits of their labor: Sanaya was leading Ronan on the Math leaderboard, while Ronan had her edged out on the Reading leaderboard. I guess sibling rivalry isn’t all bad!

What ways have you discovered to best channel sibling rivalry?


Dr. Michelle Anthony