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Sibling rivalry can destroy the household peace and regularly has parents across the country tearing their hair out.
Brothers and sisters often spend more time with one another than they do with their parents. Whilst this forms a unique connection, it can also involve a dose of competition and resentment. Just like the US and UK, we could call this a ‘special relationship’.
Sibling rivalry is a standard part of family life. Whether between blood related kids or within a blended family, children living under the same roof will naturally clash. This is an age-old issue for parents. Just think of Cain and Abel, Cleopatra and Ptolemy, Cinderella and the ugly sisters. Real or imagined, siblings have clashed throughout the ages.
The niggly confrontations of young siblings can actually be beneficial, teaching kids key diplomacy skills, patience and how to treat others. On the flip side, kids know that fighting with one another is a particularly effective way to get attention from parents and this can ramp up in adolescence.
Psychologists have suggested that sibling rivalry stems from children needing to establish their position in the family dynamic. Each child competes to define their unique place in the pecking order and define themselves from their brothers and sisters. Here are some key examples of causes behind sibling rivalry:
Parents can have a significant impact on conflicts within the younger members of the family. There are some key things to think about which could reduce the bickering:
These tips and insights should help reduce the sibling rivalry but remember a certain amount of ‘negotiation’ is part and parcel of every family. Minor conflicts can help to develop understanding and diplomacy skills!