Sibling Rivalry in the Family

Jealousy or competition between siblings can be positive or negative. Strife, Abuse, emotional or physical assault that makes the victim feel about themselves. Fighting is an effort to work out our differences, name calling, uncaring, and kicking (to create fear).

Causes

  • Jealousy and competition (even to new born), Unhealthy or unfavourable comparison
  • Changing roles- one to advancement in age not having time for the younger ones.
  • Stress/ emotional release- “those will love most are those that we hurt most”.
  • Difficulty in sharing limited resources/ selfishness
  • Desire for attention.
  • Not having time for family bonding.
  • Parent endorsement of aggression.
  • Each child is competing to define themselves, find own talents, interacts that they are difference from siblings.

Effects

  • End up well as it i.e. another aspect of development.
  • Destroy the self-esteem.
  • Mistrust, aggression, depression
  • As in the case of Cain – Abel, Joseph and his brothers, Abimelech killed his 70 brothers in order to become a king. Absalom and his brother Amnon.

Solution

  • Examine your feeling – why is there rivalry. Do I contribute to it? What can I do to tamper the cause of the rivalry among the siblings
  • Express yourself as your feelings.
  • Do not inflame the natural jealousy of siblings and comparison (Physical appearances, intelligence, athletic abilities).
  • Don’t say can’t you be like?  Love kids equally and treat them equally and uniquely.
  • Erect boundaries of respect – no name calling, respect privacy, no trailing.
  • Intervene when sibling rivalry can’t be ignored.
  • Stay calm and objective.

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