Lessons from sibling rivalry

Sibling rivalry is a common phenomenon in most families across the world. It is considered to be the competition between children in a family unit. It involves pinching, squabbles, name-calling, fighting, mimicking among others. This rivalry sometimes extends into adulthood of the competing children. These squabbles occur regardless of age, gender, religion, race, social class or geographical place. However, there are great lessons learned from this kind of animosity between the rival children.

There are many reasons as to why siblings fight. Actually, most of these reasons are caused due to buildup of jealousy in the children. Here is a list of some of the major reasons;

  • The need for being a role model.
  • The dynamic of the family unit.
  • Special need that require parental attention.
  • personal character of the children.
  • Emotional stress in the children or parents.

Lessons learned from sibling rivalry are discussed below;

Children come to know their place in the family. The child who wins most of the fights is considered to be the best while the loser is considers as the weakest. A family hierarchy is therefore determined in the family.

Sometimes child rivalry helps to bond the children together. With the help of a caring parent, they get to know why they should cooperate instead of competing against each other. Through conflict resolution methods, the siblings interact and get to understand each other better. It helps as a buffer especially when the kids come into conflict.

Good news about child rivalry is that it stimulates positive competition. Most parents encourage this trend in their kids. It is clear that competition helps in improving their hobbies, skills, talents, academic performance among other things they do in their day to day life. Contesting kids tend to perform better in school, musical competitions and play fields.

Indeed, sibling rivalry is an opportunity that helps parents to better their parenting skills. In most cases the parent are required to pay attention to their special needs. Parents learn to listen to their sons and daughters. They know how they feel for their children. For this reason, the kids get to feel that their parents care much about how they feel. This results to better parental management styles.

Child rivalry can also help the children to develop their skills too. Most children acquire skills that would eventually help them work out their animosity on their own quite easily. Therefore, the confidence in them will also improve to a great extend with such social tools at their disposal.

Through rivalries, siblings  find out their responsibilities in the family and society. From the experience, siblings tend to realize the importance of being safe, caring and respecting for other people’s needs. There will be no further name-calling, squabbles among others.

Even though sibling rivalry has some advantages, there are many demerits associated with this condition. A child might look down upon himself or herself. This might likely happen to that child who always loses in the battle.

Without forgetting, marriages are also at stake here. Family ties might be affected to some great extent. For instance two children from different parents. Most likely, the kids will try their best to bring their parents into the conflicts. This could have adverse effects on such parents hence weakening the family bonds.

In conclusion, sibling rivalry is unavoidable in most families. What matters the most is how parents, siblings and the entire society handle it.