- 6 Months ago
Sibling rivalry may occur in a family where there is conflict between sisters and brothers which is so severe that it leads to marital issues, physical harm to one or more family members, damages self-esteem or psychological well-being, thus requiring the intervention of a psychologist or other mental health professional.
This typically develops as siblings compete for their parent's love and respect. While sibling rivalry is a natural part of growing up, there are several factors that can affect how well your children get along with each other, including age, sex, personality, as well as the size of your family, whether it's a joint family or a nuclear one.
- Children of the same sex may share common interests, but its more likely for them to compete against each other.
- Kids close in age might battle each other more than children farther apart in age.
- Children of divorced parents might feel driven to compete for the attention of the parent with whom they live, especially if step siblings also live in the home.
- Middle children who might not get the same privileges or attention as the oldest or the youngest child in the family might act out to feel more secure.
As kids get older, the way they interact is most likely to change. While younger children tend to show their rivalry physically by fighting, throwing tantrums or hurting the other sibling, older children tend to have verbal arguments. Conflict between siblings usually peaks between the ages 8 and 12, when children become physically stronger and opinionated. Teens tend to become more independent, however they spend less time with family and younger siblings. This can reduce the sibling squabbling but can also be quite difficult for younger ones to accept.
It's important for you to keep in mind that all siblings argue and fight and it is quite normal. However, by treating your kids as individuals, listening to each of them and giving them opportunities to resolve their own problems, you will eventually lay the foundation for strong sibling relationships.