Yeah right! You'll never end sibling rivalry! If somehow you come up with an equation (or potion), let us know! As far as we've seen, sibling rivalry lasts well into adulthood. There are different levels of course. There's the extreme, which can be just simply unhealthy. There's also the tit-for-tat, one-upping siblings do. This is just part of being a kid anyway!
We can offer a few pointers though!
1) Don't make everything a competition.
Do you find yourself saying things like "look how well your sister did!"? Or "When
your brother was your age he had straight As all year!"? Saying things like this really
don't help your case. You may look at it as loving motivation, but chances are, your
kid doesn't see it that way. One kid is left feeling superior; while the other: inferior.
2) Don't make a big deal out of every little argument they have.
I know you've heard people say "choose your battles wisely". Maybe you even use that
line, but really! Choose. Them. Wisely. You don't need to break up every argument
your kids have. Let them figure out compromise and forgiveness on their own
sometimes. This will help them in future arguments!
3) You don't pick the winner.
When you do end up separating a fight or splitting kids up because of an argument:
punish them equally. You shouldn't choose a "winner" of the fight. Both were fighting
when it comes down to it. After all, the behavior we're punishing is the fighting; not
4) Have special time with each child.
You want each child know he/she is individually special to you. Do your best to
have time with each child sharing love. A bonding moment. The older ones, especially,
want assurance that they are still special to you even though there's a new little guy
5) Why are they hitting?
Yes, some kids hit to communicate what they are feeling. They lack some ability to
verbalize what they feel/want. However, sometimes it can be a bit much. Provide
consequences related to the rule broken. No hitting. You hit. No more fighting video
games for the week. If things get just downright aggressive and violent, maybe
something else is going on. Do what you can manage first!