The Sibling Who Creates Drama-WHY?, Part 1/2

In this culture & society,the virtues of siblinghood has been rigorously extolled by psychologists sociologists,educators & other social scientists.They maintain that children w/siblings have better social skills& are better adjusted.
In this culture & society,the virtues of siblinghood has been rigorously extolled by psychologists sociologists,educators & other social scientists.They maintain that children w/siblings have better social skills& are better adjusted.
People maintain that siblings give children a richness of life that cannot be attained otherwise. They aver that siblings teach children how to share & other negotiable life skills.
People maintain that siblings give children a richness of life that cannot be attained otherwise. They aver that siblings teach children how to share & other negotiable life skills.
Others insist that siblings know you in a way that parents possibly cannot. They further proclaim that children are freer to be themselves & tell secrets to siblings because parents may disaprove of/misjudge them.
Others insist that siblings know you in a way that parents possibly cannot. They further proclaim that children are freer to be themselves & tell secrets to siblings because parents may disaprove of/misjudge them.
Some will contend that siblings ARE there for each other in positive/negative times. Oftentimes, siblings have a family history & in addition, gave a validity to horrific family experiences.
Some will contend that siblings ARE there for each other in positive/negative times. Oftentimes, siblings have a family history & in addition, gave a validity to horrific family experiences.

Siblinghood-The Assumptions and Myths


Siblinghood has been praised, even extolled by educators, psychologists, sociologists, and other social scientists. They maintain that children who grow up with siblings have better social skills. They further contend that children with siblings are better adjusted as adults. They assert that children from multichild families learn the art of sharing and other negotiable skills.

Our society has positive associations with children who have siblings. A family is oftentimes considered to be comprised of 2 and/or more children. In our societyand culture, siblings are what make a family complete and whole. There is an underlying association with the positiveness of family life that siblings bring. It is strongly argued that siblings provide children with the first set of friends and companions.

There are people who assert that siblings give children a richness of life that is unattainable anywhere else. They even state that with siblings, children are free to discuss things that parents are unable and cannot understand. They adamantly proclaim that parents can find it cumbersome to indulge in child-level games and scenarios, asserting that siblings are better able to do this than the former is. They contend that children with siblings even develop faster because children understand each other in a way that adults cannot fathom.

Other people believe that siblings provide children with lifelong companions, friends, and confidantes. They maintain that siblings also shield each other, acting as bulwarks against a harsh outside world. They contend that with a sibling/siblings, someone always has their back. They feel that siblings are more important than parents in that parent-child relationships are merely transitory in comparison to the sibling relationship which is more permanent. In their purview, siblings are more important because after a parent dies, it is the sibling/siblings whom one will be in most contact and association with.

Many people contend that siblings provide family history and historic events. They insist who other than siblings can remember a familial historical period and memories of parents. Besides the more positive times, siblings often bond through the less positive, even horrific times regarding the family scenario. Siblings can give credence and support to the family experience from the most positive to the most horrific.

There are people who strongly maintain that siblings are the ones who give their particular familial experience more validity and veracity. For instance, if a child experience horrific abuse, a sibling/siblings more or less witnessed or even encountered the same or similar experience hence the victim child does not feel that he/she is alone in such circumstances. He/she does not feel invalidated because there was a sibling/were siblings in the same household who can attest to the experience.



Despite the bucolic idea that all siblings get along,such is not always the case.It isn't uncommon for siblings to hit, bite, kick, &otherwise physically attack other siblings. Sibling rivalry is a natural occurence in multichild famlies.
Despite the bucolic idea that all siblings get along,such is not always the case.It isn't uncommon for siblings to hit, bite, kick, &otherwise physically attack other siblings. Sibling rivalry is a natural occurrence in multichild famlies.
Siblings often COMPETE for parental attention & resources.This result in siblings seeing each other as competitors,if not outright enemies.  In the siblings' eyeview, it is the MOST WORTHY who will receive such parental time,attention & resources.
Siblings often COMPETE for parental attention & resources.This result in siblings seeing each other as competitors,if not outright enemies. In the siblings' eyeview, it is the MOST WORTHY who will receive such parental time,attention & resources.
Besides sibling rivalry, there is the issue of preferential treatment i.e. favoritism on the part of parents.  In multichild families, there is a child or some children who will be favored children.
Besides sibling rivalry, there is the issue of preferential treatment i.e. favoritism on the part of parents. In multichild families, there is a child or some children who will be favored children.
As there are favored children, there will be children in the family who will be unfavored child.  Such children are often the black sheep, the odd child out, or even scapegoated by parents,even siblings to make themselves feel better/more advantaged.
As there are favored children, there will be children in the family who will be unfavored child. Such children are often the black sheep, the odd child out, or even scapegoated by parents,even siblings to make themselves feel better/more advantaged.
The sibling relationship is quite an intricate dynamic.  There are so many relationships and subcategories of relationship within the sibling construct. However, there are siblings who LOVE to DRAW ATTENTION to themselves.
The sibling relationship is quite an intricate dynamic. There are so many relationships and subcategories of relationship within the sibling construct. However, there are siblings who LOVE to DRAW ATTENTION to themselves.

The REALITY of Siblinghood

Despite the bucolic idea that siblinghood is a positive experience for children, there is evidence that siblinghood can have negative experiences for children. Sibling rivalry is a commonplace experience in any family where there is more than one child. The more siblings in a household, the higher incidences of sibling rivalry. It is not unusual for siblings to hit, bite, and inflict other forms of physical attacks on each other. There are siblings who even resort to abuse, specifically bullying other siblings.

In multichild families, children regularly compete with each other for parental resources whether it is financial and/or emotional. In each sibling's mind, he/she wants to be the most deserving and worthy child in such terms. Siblings oftentimes view each other as competitors, if not outright enemies, in terms of parental time and attention. This is akin to the survival of the fittest because the parents are the main determinants in a child's emotional, mental, psychological, physical, even psychic survival. Yes, children NEED their parents for these components, if not, they will atrophy or die as they are not at the stage to fully take care of themselves.


Besides sibling rivalry, there is also differential and preferential treatment of parents of individual children in the family. It is quite normal for children in multichild families to be treated differently from one another. It is human nature for parents to favor one child or some children over other children in the family. The reasons for such preferential treatment vary from family to family. Some favored children may have similar interests, outlooks, and personalities of their parents. Others may have gifts and talents which stand out from the other children in the family. Many favored children are ostracized by their other siblings because the latter feels slighted by the parents. There are favored children who are even bullied and otherwise subjected to abusive treatment by other siblings.

Conversely, there are children in the family who are treated very differentially albeit in the negative sense. Such children are considered the black sheep, odd child out, or even scapegoated by parents because there is something about these children which brings out the animus in their parents. Like the favored child, many unfavored children are ostracized by their siblings because the former are considered to be nonentities by their family members. The unfavored child is routinely abused by siblings to make the latter feel elevated in their and their parents eyes.

Yes, siblinghood is oftentimes frought with drama and angst. It is not as bucolic as pundits would make it. Siblinghood involves intricacies in the family dynamic. Some siblings will feel left out, even neglected while others are loved and are the centers of parental attention and love. There are siblings who extend and willingly give of themselves while there are others that can be considered selfish. Contrary to what many people think and believe, there are siblings who are only concerned with themselves and love to create scenarios in order to draw attention to themselves. There is no one main reason why a sibling or siblings create family drama. It all depends upon the individual sibling/siblings and their particular family dynamic and environment.

There are siblings who THRIVE on creating DRAMA.  This drama can be mild to severe.  There are so many underlying reasons why some siblings are adept at the art of drama. It depends upon the sibling's personality, needs & desires among other factors.
There are siblings who THRIVE on creating DRAMA. This drama can be mild to severe. There are so many underlying reasons why some siblings are adept at the art of drama. It depends upon the sibling's personality, needs & desires among other factors.
Oldest/older siblings in families create drama in a bid for parental love & attention.  Many oldest/older siblings feel cast aside, waylaided, & ignored by their parents in favor of younger/youngest siblings.
Oldest/older siblings in families create drama in a bid for parental love & attention. Many oldest/older siblings feel cast aside, waylaided, & ignored by their parents in favor of younger/youngest siblings.
Many oldest/older siblings create drama by adopting adult behaviors. They figure since they have adult responsibilities oftentimes thrust upon them before THEY'RE ready, they might as well adopt adult mannerisms & behaviors.
Many oldest/older siblings create drama by adopting adult behaviors. They figure since they have adult responsibilities oftentimes thrust upon them before THEY'RE ready, they might as well adopt adult mannerisms & behaviors.
Middle children create drama in order to procure attention from parents & siblings alike. Many middle children feel overshadowed, even ignored in their families. They often establish wildly divergent paths, even rebelling to establish THEIR identity.
Middle children create drama in order to procure attention from parents & siblings alike. Many middle children feel overshadowed, even ignored in their families. They often establish wildly divergent paths, even rebelling to establish THEIR identity.

The Cast Aside, Ignored Sibling Creating DRAMA

In many families, there is the sibling or siblings who must constantly create drama. This drama can be mild to severe depending upon the personality, needs, and desires of the sibling and/or siblings. There are children who believe that with the birth of a new sibling or succedent siblings, he/she is no longer valued by his/her parents. He/she believes that the parents love the new sibling and/or siblings more than they love him/her. This feeling causes the child to act out in ways that will garner the attention of the parents. It is not uncommon for these child to revert to earlier patterns of behavior in order to receive the parental love and attention that they once had.

Many oldest/older siblings contend that they are cast aside at the birth of a new sibling. Many parents believe that the oldest/older sibling does not need them as much when a new sibling is born. Much of the parents' energy goes towards caring for the new sibling, much to the dismay of the oldest/older child who feels that he/she needs parental attention also. When they express the need for parental attention, he/she is told by the parent to grow up and stop being a baby. Of course, the oldest/older child feel hurt and creates drama out of anger.

While some oldest/older siblings revert to earlier patterns of behavior, others exert their power over the younger sibling. It is not unusual for oldest/older siblings to bully younger/youngest siblings because they are angry that the younger/youngest siblings have usurped their primary relationship to their parents. This behavior is their revenge for being cast and tossed aside in favor of the younger/younger siblings in the family.

In addition to being cast aside, many oldest/older siblings feel unappreciated by their parents. Oldest/older children in families are expected to be perfect and/or as near perfect as possible. They are often punished and blamed for mistakes that their younger/youngest siblings make. Many of them are also given adult and parenting responsibilities before they are ready to assume them. It is quite common for many oldest/older children to be the parentified children in the family. Of course, they feel that such treatment is unfair so they feel that such they act in rebellious ways, sometimes undermining the parents' authority. They figure that since they are treated like adults, they might as well adapt and assume adult behaviors. It is further their contention that their parents had better not tell them what do they as they are the ones REALLY in charge of the family and household.

Oldest/older children are not the only ones who feel that they are cast aside. Middle children in families routinely believe that they are ignored, even diminished in worth, in comparison to their oldest and youngest siblings. Many middle children oftentimes act out in order to receive parental attention and to sometimes overshadow their siblings. One renowned celebrity, a middle child of 8 children, stated during interviews that she regularly had to be loud and aggressive in order to be noticed by her parents. It is not unusual for middle children to act in ways that are contrary to their particular family paradigm in order to be accepted and respected as an individual. They create drama in order not to be considered anonymous.


Some siblings know that they are THE ULTIMATE and act accordingly. They are the stars and centers of attention in their families.  They THRIVE on creating drama for the purpose of retaining their status within the family dynamic.
Some siblings know that they are THE ULTIMATE and act accordingly. They are the stars and centers of attention in their families. They THRIVE on creating drama for the purpose of retaining their status within the family dynamic.
In some families, it is the younger/youngest sibling who is THE CENTER of attention. There are younger/youngest siblings who use any means, positive or negative, to get their parents' attention, even to the detriment of their siblings.
In some families, it is the younger/youngest sibling who is THE CENTER of attention. There are younger/youngest siblings who use any means, positive or negative, to get their parents' attention, even to the detriment of their siblings.
Then there are siblings, regardless of birth order, who feel/know that they ARE privileged within their families, using their status as an advantage. They receive accoutrements socioeconomic & otherwise that their siblings DON'T/WON'T receive.
Then there are siblings, regardless of birth order, who feel/know that they ARE privileged within their families, using their status as an advantage. They receive accoutrements socioeconomic & otherwise that their siblings DON'T/WON'T receive.

Siblings Who Are CENTERS of Attention and STARS........DRAMA Galore

There are siblings who create drama for the thrill of it. They also feel that they are deserving of such drama. They are siblings who love, even thrive upon attention and will do almost anything to it even at the detriment of other siblings in the family. There are children who are pampered, indulged, and even spoiled by their parents. They are the stars of their respective families. They receive privileges that their other siblings do not receive. In their parents' purview, they can do no wrong, only right. Even if they commit egregious acts, they are treated very leniently.

In some families, younger/youngest children create drama in order to maintain the level of parental attention that they always have. It is their intention to remain the precious jewel of their families. They will use any means whether positive or negative to get their parents' attention, even framing their siblings for things the former committed. They are also quite adept at the art of emotional and psychological manipulation as a means of getting attention from their parents and siblings alike.

Then in other families, regardless of a sibling/siblings' birth order, they are accorded star status. These are the siblings who received privileges and other accountrements that the other siblings do not receive be it socioeconomic or other privileges. This is the sibling/siblings who is/are thought of having great promise and potential. They are also quite aware of their promise and/or potential and adeptly use these components to put themselves above the other siblings in the family. They feel that since they are worth more than the other sibling/siblings, they can manipulate their parents to spend money on and/or great other privileges to them that are not granted to the other siblings. For example, parents may send this sibling to graduate school while telling another sibling that he/she has to work his/her way through undergraduate college.

© 2014 Grace Marguerite Williams

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Comments 10 comments

kj force profile image

kj force 2 years ago from Florida

gm...WOW...that was an Awesome article.. you covered just about every item on the " drama queen/king ".. Honestly both Parents need to reflect a bit on the underlying reasons possibly financial , emotional, stress. state of mind ,health issues, etc at time of pregnancy , our bodies chemically change which would be passed on to the fetus. Another issue is Parents tend to rely on older siblings to partake in responsibility of additional sibling , which can sometimes birth negativity. Remember that fetus was exposed to ALL sounds, smells and emotional aspects that were present while in the womb.. Each child is his own person, physical attributes of the two parents, but mentally his/her own person. Children tend to act out " reaction to an action " ...

All Parents should study Meditation, Tai Chi... , and Yoga .. and a course in Anger mgt might not be a bad idea either....just my thoughts.

Looking forward to part 2...


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

@Kj, thank you for you're quite eloquent comment. It is greatly appreciated in kind.


goatfury profile image

goatfury 2 years ago from Richmond, VA

Interesting stuff. I myself am an only child, but I like understanding the sibling dynamic so that I recognize it in others.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

@goatfury, thank you for stopping by and for your response.


danicole profile image

danicole 2 years ago from United States

Interesting hub and I can see and understand both sides, but if I have to honest. I don't really like the tone/message of this hub. The stuff you mention for Siblinghood- the Assumptions and Myths are not assumptions and myths but apart of the reality (along with the other half about the siblings that create drama). Its not one-sided and there are negatives and positives to siblinghood. I feel this hub, casts siblinghood in a negative/unflattering light Also how can you know/understand the dynamics of siblinghood and the reality of it, if you are an only child and never experienced being a sibling?

I hope you don't feel like I am attacking you, I just have to be honest on my opinion!!!


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

I had friends, relatives, and parents who HAD siblings and IT WASN'T pretty at all. The tales THEY told.


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

@Danicole, My mother was the oldest of 10, she had TALES and so did my uncles/aunts. Also my father was next to the youngest, he had TALES. Had myriad of cousins and friends w/siblings. Observed from them the sibling dynamic. One DOESN'T have to have siblings to KNOW about siblings. Observation is an EXCELLENT TEACHER! Also studied and read books on siblings/birth order in order to observations of family/friends w/siblings. I can say that I am quite an expert on the sibling dynamic. Love to study siblings/birth order-it is quite fascinating-SO MUCH DRAMA!


danicole profile image

danicole 2 years ago from United States

@gmwilliams: Even if you have tales of others (including family members) that have siblings, nothing beats the experience of having siblings! It's one thing to know but its another thing to know and have experience. Having siblings have its pluses and minuses, it's a very unique experience!!! By the way I have tales of my own too!!! :)


gmwilliams profile image

gmwilliams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York Author

I enjoyed being an only child, did not miss having siblings at all. I had cousins, friends, etc. One does not need siblings for companionship. I was NEVER lonely! One does not need siblings to know what it is like to know about siblings. Only children have friends, cousins, etc. and DON'T live in an isolated cocoon. I had friends, cousins, etc. who had siblings and they told me stories re: their siblings. So I am quite familiar w/ the sibling experience. I lived a varied life. Only children DON'T live in a cocoon-they INTERACT!


danicole profile image

danicole 2 years ago from United States

I am just curious about this never heard of small family advocates! I have heard of Planned Parenthood and stuff like that but not small family advocate!!!!

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