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Dealing With Sibling Rivalry In The Home

Updated on July 2, 2014
In our family, sibling rivalry battles were inevitable!
In our family, sibling rivalry battles were inevitable! | Source

Family Ties

Coming from a big family, I enjoyed the number of playmates I had on any given day. With eight children, any team sport can become a reality and the hours of fun are endless. We spent many days playing softball, baseball, kickball, badminton, and conducted jump rope competitions. We also enjoyed many days just hanging out together on the front porch eating popsicles and seeing who could spit watermelon seeds the farthest.

I wish I could tell you that we never had any arguments among us, but as you can guess, the peace in the home never lasted too long. No matter what it was, or who was involved, sooner or later someone would get into a tiff over frivolous issues such as who was the better jumper or whose turn it was to go first. We were not as drastic as the Biblical Cain and Abel killing each other for attention, and not as mean as Cinderella and her stepsisters, but we were rivals nevertheless!

Yes, family ties are wonderful and build beautiful memories, but the ability to sail through parenting during the growing years takes strength and lots of patience.

Three sibling pairs are closet in relationship.
Three sibling pairs are closet in relationship. | Source
Same gender, especially girls, are most compatible and keep relationships going through the years. My nieces are still close today.
Same gender, especially girls, are most compatible and keep relationships going through the years. My nieces are still close today. | Source

Causes of Sibling Rivalry

Among my siblings, it was a pecking order that established who got to sit by the car window whenever we traveled. Since I, and my younger sister, landed at the bottom of the list in age and birth order we always had to sit in the middle. As we grew, situations such as this always made us strive to catch up with our older sisters and brother, which was impossible. The position a child fills in the family has an effect on how they interact with siblings.

I have a friend who shared that she often felt jealousy towards her brother as a child because of the many hours he spent playing sports with their dad. She felt neglected as she sat and watched from the sidelines. Parents unconsciously encourage rivalry if they treat situations like this impartially. It is difficult to treat all children equally, but acknowledgement of how each child is special or unique will provide a healthier family relationship.

I remember my sisters got to stay up a whole hour later than I when I was eight and it seemed so unfair. I pleaded with my mom to allow me to stay up just thirty minutes later, but she never gave in to my pleas. Now, I am thankful that she stood her ground and never caved to my requests. It was one of those parenting choices that proved my siblings earned their privileges based upon age and their added responsibilities. Furthermore, it made me feel special when I finally did get to stay up to watch the late night TV shows.

Statistics and Facts:

Studies show that three sibling pairs are closest in relationship while brothers and twins are the most rivalrous and more competitive. If the siblings are girls, they are most likely to keep the relationship going though the growing years and beyond. However the closer the age, the more likely they are to rival for attention when young. Reasons stated for boys being more competitive are due to parental and societal comparisons. Statements such as, "Jamie got his first tooth at four months old," and "Hunter didn't walk until he was almost two," tend to put boys in a competitive state when they hear these types of comments, even to college age.

Children as young as one years old are influenced by parental interaction with siblings. The greater the difference in preferential treatment, the more hostility and conflict between siblings. Another factor affecting sibling rivalry is if a parent does not monitor play among the children. When possible, parents should allow children to settle their own differences, but they must judge when it is time to mediate and discuss the rights of each child. (source: Child Development Institute: Parenting; Psychology Today, January 1, 1993, J. Leder)

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How to Handle Sibling Rivalry

Avoid making comparisons between your children. Acknowledge each child for their own accomplishments. If you compare children they will believe that they are either better than their siblings or unequal in talent, intelligence or behavior.

Let them know that being fair does not mean equal. Sometimes children get more freedom to choose and have different privileges due to age, ability and responsibility in the home. This will help them understand your choices and build trust. If you have a child with special needs in the family, a sibling may become resentful of the extra attention. Remind them that you are helping her or him to become more independent so that everyone can enjoy each other's company. Encourage the resentful child to help you with the process.

Teach children to be kind to one another and to follow the Golden Rule (treat others as you would want to be treated). Do not allow your children to use damaging words, teach your children how to express their feelings/emotions in appropriate ways. Also, teaching your child empathy is another virtue that goes a long way when it comes to siblings.

Realize and accept that sibling rivalry is a normal and a natural process. Siblings will get angry with one another, but they must learn to control their feelings. Teach them how to handle conflict in a positive way, and remember not to take sides or show favoritism on the issue. It is also important to give them time to settle their differences before stepping in to mediate.

Establish family rules for such things as television, computer and electronic game usage. It may be helpful to set schedules for each child. Assign chores but rotate them on a weekly (or monthly) basis. If needed, meet as a family to discuss major issues of conflict such as sharing of toys, space, parent attention, or car privileges (for older teens), that may need extra adult supervision and monitoring.

Set time to spend with each child individually, perhaps before bedtime or breakfast to let them you know you are there for them. Tell them you love them often. Use positive parenting, increase a sense of self worth by praising your children when they do something good. This will eliminate the need for negative parental attention.

Lastly, role model good behavior in your relationships with your spouse, friends, and especially in sibling interactions. Your children will learn how to interact with honesty and develop a greater understanding of their roles in the family while respecting each other.


Family Regardless of Differences!

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awesome hub my friend! Great information and suggestions. This is nothing I had to deal with being basically an older child...my sister married when I was five....and my son was an only child....but I have heard horror stories about this problem.

      Great job and Dianna, have a wonderful 4th of July!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      You didn't miss out on much, Bill. I can show you my scars from the many scuffles I had to win! Just kidding!! Have a great 4th with your family.

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 4 years ago from Victoria BC

      Very well written hub. I was an only chikld and hated it. My two daughters are close in age and for the most part get along well. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Diane Woodson profile image

      Diane Minton 4 years ago from Evansville, Indiana

      If more would read your family orientated Hubs there might be a reduction in the number of child abuse and neglect. These are great and wholesome, a quality that is not found in many homes, of hurry, let the kids fend for themselves, that philosophy has led to so much of the downfall that is present in our society. I am so glad you fill our minds with good and positive ideas experiences and love and joy which should fill the home of every child...thanks teaches12345

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Lizam, you are very fortunate to have two daughters who get along well. As the stats show, this is the most cohesive match in children. Enjoy your family and have a great 4th of July!

      Diane, your kind compliments mean much to me. I see too many kids who are abandoned or neglected by parents/guardians and it does guide my writing. Thanks for the encouragement and support. Have a great 4th of July!

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      I think every big family has ever experienced sibling rivalry. I try to view it on the positive side, the competition can help a child to be a better person and more so a couragious one. Thanks for sharing this.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Excellent hub and great advice! Sibling rivalry is a natural part of growing up, but it can get out of hand with very sad consequences if parent's favor one while overlooking another. I wish all parents could read this.

      Thank you so much!

    • kathey89 profile image

      kathey89 4 years ago

      I've grown up with 2 sisters (i'm the one in the middle!) My parents used to joke that depending how my little sister was when she was little and if she acted like my rebellious older sister they wouldn't have another, hence theres only 3 of us!

      We've had our moments when we were younger and fought quite a bit! Luckily now we all get on very well and I'm not sure what i'd do without them, we've all had a massive change around personality wise, which has made us all stronger.

      Looking at other families I know siblings who fought throughout and still do now which is a shame! Family is for life after all!

    • snowdrops profile image

      snowdrops 4 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      heheheh..got also one sister and arguing is our masterpiece at home.

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 4 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Very insightful hub! There where only three of us and arguments where still inevitable. You did offer many practical tips to help deal with the situation to a reasonable degree.

    • Diane Woodson profile image

      Diane Minton 4 years ago from Evansville, Indiana

      Sibling rivalry was present in the home I grew up in. Inceest began and I was on the journney to learning how to fear, shy away, and wonder why it occurred at age six, My parents squelched it however, the scars remain even today. I still sometimes have a severe hatred for the person who abused me, and of course he never admits it to anyone, as men will do. It caused me to have a fear of men that precipitates, panic disorder, and caused me to have horrible nightmares, and social problems as well. It is hard to describe what abuse does to a person. This is meant to be a positive comment, I have grown to realize that I am a better person to have survived the situations which caused me so much pain in past, and take them as a learning experience so that I can better cope with the nightmare, and other psychological symptoms that they caused. Thank .....

    • Sturgeonl profile image

      Sturgeonl 4 years ago

      With two teenage boys I am always looking for good advice to keep the peace. Your suggestions are very useful. I particularly like the statement that fair does not always mean equal or the same. This is soooo true. I think almost everyone will be able to relate to this hub in one way or another. Voted up and awesome.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

      Fascinating Hub, teaches! I am an only child and missed out on sibling dynamics (fortunately or unfortunately, I'm not sure which!) I learned a great deal about sibling rivalry from you. This Hub is well researched and full of valuable information. Thanks for sharing!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 4 years ago

      This is very good advice for a very annoying problem. My girls are married and parents and they still have a flare up from time to time.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I like your positive outlook on sibling relationships, dwachira. I think the competition made me a stronger too. Happy 4th!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      It's a matter of balancing the love between children. Good insight on this topic, Cat. Happy 4th of July to you!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Your story reminds me of my sisters, we all had our fights but as we grew up the bonds grew tighter. Kathey, it is sad that some families do not speak to each other. They are missing out on some valuable family moments.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I can only imagine your arguments, snow! I know my sisters and I had some really good ones. Take care and have a happy 4th!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hello spartucusjones, it's good to see you here and I appreciate your add to the topic. Three is plenty good for a family match on rivalry! We all had our "arguments" and sometimes we forgot what they were about in the end. Happy 4th!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Diane, I am so sorry for your experience with incest. It's a horrible act on such an innocent child. The scars are there for us to see, but as you said they also serve to make you mend. I just wrote a blog on battle scars the other day, funny you should mention this. Myprayers and thoughts are with you, and I am so happy to hear how you are facing the future with a positive outlook.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I have had plenty of experience on sibling rivalry and I am sure my siblings could also make the same claims. Lots of learning! Sturgeonl, thanks for the votes and visit. Have a happy 4th!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hey, Lindacee! You can count your blessings that you didn't have to learn negotation skills through arguments (and tiffs) like the ones I had. Still, it did help me to become strong in decision making. Love my siblings! Thanks for your feedback, it's always good to hear if your writing is hitting the target. Have a happy 4th!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      You gave me a chuckle here, Breakfastpop. I have to admit that those arguments do not go away with age, but the forgiveness, truce and peace comes much quicker (and wiser). Have a happy 4th, my friend!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 years ago from Brazil

      Wonderful topic to write about.

      I am the middle of three, all sisters. There was definitely sibling rivalry.

      With my kids, I tried to let them work it out. I think they are more independent because of it. All the preparation for the 'real world ' starts in the home.

      Well explained and thoughtful hub.

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

      Good write. I only had a boy and girl so this was never an issue thankfully.

    • profile image

      cleaner3 4 years ago

      teaches, this is a great write. I was the youngest of my family and didn't really havea sibling rivalry. but i know I always pestered my older brother to let me go with him all the time .

      Evoked great memories.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Good thoughts on this topic, Blond Logic. It's best to allow siblings time to work things out before mediating, if necessary. It makes them better decision makers.

      Polly, it's a blessing to have two children who get along well. You have done an excellent job!

      Cleaner3, I pestered my older siblings with the same results .. NO! Oh well, guess we turned out ok. Glad you stopped in here.

      Happy 4th of July to all!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Great advice, teaches! So glad I only have a single kidlet under my roof. VUM!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Good tips Teaches. We used to fight over who would sit in the front seat and now I think - why was that so important? Funny how our priorities change...

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      What a fantastic hub teaches! Right now I'm in the car with my three boys and they are fighting but also extremely loving and helpful to each other. Voted up and shared! Kelley

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Being the middle child of six siblings we had our share of sibling rivalry, but nothing drastic. We didn't want a whooping! :)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Another awesome Hub, you truly didn't miss a beat about sibling rivalry. I remember growing up how I used to be jealous of all the time my dad would give to my younger brother just because he was a boy and the son. As an adult, my brother and I couldn't be closer, but growing up I did resent that at times. My 2 girls are only 16 months apart and I try so hard to treat them equally, because I don't want either to feel any resentment or neglect, but it isn't easy and I am sure there will be still some sibling rivalry there just hope as adults they are close. Thanks again, am sharing an voting up too.

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Fantastic advice, and such a well researched hub! :) You write excellent hubs on family dynamics and child raising. Very helpful and well written! Voted up and across!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      One kids gives you time to practice (and some peace of mind for now). Have a happy 4th, TToombs. It's almost time for the fireworks here!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I am laughing about this too, Christy. We fought over seats in the car, and now I would gladly sit in the back and let someone drive me around!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Love those car rides, they are such a great way to learn what's going on in their lives. Just have to ignore a lot of the bickering -- turn up the music! Thanks for stopping in here, Kelley.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      You reminded me of why we were usually very cooperative, our parents still believed in spanking back then. Sunshine, now I know you can understand my big family's sibling rivalry!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Janine, you are doing great to try to share your love with your little girls. It does make a difference, so when those times come they won't question your love as much. Thanks for the votes and sharing. Happy 4th!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hello Kathy. I appreciate your comment and votes. When you come from a big family like mine, sibling rivalry is one topic you can write a book about. Happy 4th!

    • Skarlet profile image

      Skarlet 4 years ago from California

      Beautiful work Teaches,

      This brought back some memories of my fighting for the window seats, and not letting my brother have his picture taken without me in it.

      Funny how we forget these things and recall only how nice we were...

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another excellent hub, teaches, filled with useful advice. My sister and I got on well as children, and we still do, but there was some sibling rivalry between us! Luckily it wasn't serious and we survived it very well.

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 4 years ago

      Great hub as usual. I love these points about handling a sib when you have to give special attention to another and teach them to be kind to others... I find that this is not emphasized so much in families.. Recommending this hub to my friends on FB :) Thanks for sharing.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Skarlet, you are so right, we only remember the good things, which is not a bad idea!

      Alicia, enjoy your sister's friendship!

      Sofs, You have mentioned a key factor in families. Treating children fairly and individually means a happy family environment.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 4 years ago

      Very good tips. You mentioned being fair doesn't mean equal --I totally agree with you. But sometimes, kids don't understand that and that's when rivlary can come in. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and rated up.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Yes, kids don't always understand, but consistency does prove to make it clear as you continue the fairness between siblings. Great add to the hub, anglnwu. Have a very good day, my friend.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Excellent information about sibling rivalry, teaches. Too many parents are not aware of this sometimes difficult behavior. Reminds me of something I think it was Erma Bombeck once said: Never have more children than you have car windows. So funny, so true!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Erma is a wise woman! LOL! My parents must not have ever read her advice! Thanks for your visit here, drbj. Have a great weekend.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      When we were children my sister hated me so much that my parents thought it was not normal, and took her to psychiatrist.

      Today she says I'm her most loved sibling.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this family issue.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Vinaya, some siblings do not get along so well until much older. Glad you and your sister now have a great relationship. Thanks for your visit. Be well and safe!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

      Hi, teaches. This was such an interesting read. I appreciate these fascinating facts and your practical advice. But you know, as an only child, this hub made me feel like I had missed all the fun! haha :)

    • krsharp05 profile image

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      I have 5 brothers and 1 sister so like you, it was often ballyhoo in our house! My oldest brother reigned supreme and is now a marine - go figure! It sure made us all tough though. The youngest of our group of 7 has the best sense of humor - he had to in order to survive. Your parenting tips are wonderful and put together so nicely. I'm glad to know that boys naturally bicker because mine sure do! -K

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Om, we have an only child as well. During his early years he wanted a sibling, but after he turned teen -- he told us that he was then glad he didn't have to share his parents. I don't know, guess every situation has it's silver lining.

      Krsharp, oh the joys of parenting, especially boys! They are rough and tumble but also so endearing. Enjoy your blessings.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Awesome tips Teaxhes12345,

      Rivalry is present at all times in a family. We believe in role models and respect. But you go beyond with your teaching skills. We applaud that!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thanks Lord de cross, it's true -- respect goes a long way in helping family relationships. Thanks for your insightful comment. Have a great evening.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Dianna,

      Thanks for publishing this important Hub. You've presented some very useful tips which I'm certain will help many families.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thanks, Daisy!

    • shalini sharan profile image

      shalini sharan 4 years ago from Delhi

      this was indeed very useful, thank you for sharing it :)

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 4 years ago

      Sibling rivalry even occurs when there's a large time gap. Trust me, I have a 30 year old sister and a 22 year old brother, the competition still goes on today! This hub is definitely filled with great information :) Some parents show favoritism, which greatly enhances the effect "competition" has on one child or the other. Sibling Rivalry defintiely becomes more complex!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Shalini, glad you found this article useful and thank for sharing it with others. I appreciate the support.

      KDuBarry03, that's interesting to hear about th

    • MarieAlice profile image

      MarieAlice 4 years ago from Peru

      I have four kids and sibling rivalry occurs really often...I agree that many times we as parents create it without knowing, so I guess we must pay more attention to what we say and do... I have two sisters and I guess we never had sibling rivalry or not at all, but my kids are fighting all the time!!! We try to explain them what they are doing wrong so they can stop fighting, but after several minutes dealing with them I realize that they forgot the whole thing and keep playing as if nothing happened!!!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hello, MarieAlice. I am chuckling at your recount of the kids arguments and then playing as if nothing happened. Very typical and so much of a parent's enjoyment in parenting! Keep up the good work!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      I am one of 3 girls and me and my younger sister get on like a house on fire and we always have. My other sister - well that was a different matter, she was born 13 months after me and I just could not stand here when we were young - I'm guessing I must have been jealous of her stealing all of the attention from me when I was still a baby :o)

      Great hub - voted up etc.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Sounds like you had some interesting childhood memories with all that girl power around the home. :) Thanks for coming by here, Jools. I appreciate the vote of support. Go have a great day!

    • leahlefler profile image

      leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

      This is a fantastic hub! We have two boys, only a year and a half apart in age, so they are quite competitive with each other. They are the best of friends, but everything turns into a competition! We try to remind them that life isn't always a race - I am so glad they have each other so they can go through life together.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Leah, as you well know, boys are competitive players. It's great that they get along so well and enjoy their close relationship. Sounds like you are doing a great job in helping them to understand playing together vs. competition. Have a great Saturday and enjoy those sweet boys!

    • jellygator profile image

      jellygator 4 years ago from USA

      For a while I pulled my hair out over the way my oldest and middle daughter couldn't speak a civil word to each other, until I realized they got along fabulously whenever I wasn't nearby. They're grown now, and remain close.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Jellygator, sounds like you have experienced this and are now an expert in how siblings rival each other in the home. As you now know, it's normal and if we monitor the relationship it can turn out well. Thanks for stopping by here and for your add to the topic. Have a great day!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I loved your arm wrestling photo at the top. I was the eldest child with my brother John coming along 23 months later followed by Jim 17 months after that. So the 3 of us were close in age. While we did not have a team of players within the family, we did many of the same things you mentioned for fun. I think that my parents did a great job rearing us. These tips to manage sibling rivalry are great ones. Up votes and sharing.

    • menash profile image

      menash 4 years ago from USA

      I am 18 and the oldest of a family of 7, and when the kids fight every second of the day. In the back of my mind I am aware that if they are fighting like that I know they must be closer than ever.

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 4 years ago from The Shire

      This takes me back, Teaches. I was a little terror to my poor brother because, as they say, he "shot me out of the saddle" -- lol! They tell me I got on the phone and told the police I guessed we'd have to keep him....he still teases me about that :-) Great, useful hub!

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      kalf;jdkf;afjka;fjkdlfj;fj;lkfja;klfjd;lafjd;lfj;alfj

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thanks for your vote and support, Peggy. I also remember arm wrestling my sisters. It was fun but sometimes ended in arguments. Good to hear you had some really terrific parents, it's a blessing!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hello Menash, it is true that siblings will have those arguments and tiffs on occasion and they will make up at some point. You must know exactly what it takes to get along by now. Thanks for you support of this hub. Take care and enjoy your siblings!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Molly, I am laughing at your calling the police on your brother. That is so funny! It is a common thing to feel that way when you ruled the roost for so long. Thanks for your sharing here and for your wonderful support. Stay strong!

    • Rfordin profile image

      Rfordin 4 years ago from Florida

      I have two young girls (ages 5 & 3.9) I struggle so much with not comapring, and dooling out chores to them based on their ages it's ridicoulous....it ineveitably leads to "mommy guilt" as well. It's hard but the fact that they grow up and retain a "closeness" is deifnitly worth it. Good article!

      ~Becky

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Rfordin, it's so nice to see you here, my friend. Siblings will always find something to quarrel about, it's natural. We sometimes need to let them work it out, step in only as needed to guide in a positive direction and to a workable solution. You are doing a great job!

    • formosangirl profile image

      formosangirl 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      It always astonishes me when someone says that their children do not fight. When my kids started making statements like "you let her do xyz and not me," I take extra time to explain why we made the decision. We do try to even it out. Once my old one complained why the younger one received a high tech gadget. After our explanation, he really couldn't say anymore. Of course this didn't mean that he would never bring it up again. Again, we gave him the same answer. So, he knows that we do not favor and we make decisions for a particular reason.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Formosangirl, you are handling the rivalry well when you share your reasoning with your kids. They have to know that sometimes things are not always equal but fairness is one thing we do! Favoritism is an area that many parents subconsciosly do and never realize the effects on their children. Great job in raising those children!

    • billips profile image

      billips 4 years ago from Central Texas

      Interesting hub Teaches 12345 - I think it is vital that parents are absolutely fair and treat all children equally, no matter what their age - there was no bickering in the home where I grew up - I think it was because my parents never bickered and always treated each other with love and respect - we adored them and naturally followed their example - B.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Billips, fairness among siblings is really important in raising children who face life positively. Role model to your children goes a long way in helping them to live well. I applaud your parents for setting such a positive example in the home.

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      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

      An engaging hub! Though I am the single child, I have witnessed many cases of sibling rivalry :

      1) My 2 aunts told me that long ago they were upset when my late grandfather told them to study as well as my mother.

      2) My close cousin-sister often argued with her brother (my cousin-brother) since they were kids till now as young adults yet there is some inner warm bond between them.

      3) Back in my school, students who came first in studies, sports, extra-curricular activities, etc and their younger siblings automatically followed up with the same accolades!

      An insightful hub with the wise suggestions at the end! Well-done!

      Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Iswary, even though you were an only child, you have good sense of what family is about. It is nice to hear how well your family members have mended relationships through the years. Thank you for your support. Enjoy your day.

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      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      I think we all have that innate sense that makes us compare ourselves to others and make sure that we are getting our fair share. I saw this growing up with my siblings, and even see it now with coworkers. Some have a hard time understanding that others, especially if they are older or have more seniority, may wind up getting privileges you don't have and you simply have to wait. You have presented a great list of ideas to help avoid too much sibling rivalry at home. Voted up.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hey Millionaire! You have brought out some facts many of us have to face as siblings. Fair is not always what we think it to be. Great add! It was nice to see you here today. Hope all is well with you.

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      Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Diannna, your tips are great and I especially endorse the one about giving each child individual attention. In my family (five kids), the "family unit" was the focus and I have hardly any memories of time with either parent alone. I think back then (the 50s) it wasn't considered that important and parents didn't think about their parenting style. The word didn't even exist! No parenting books, no classes, etc. (and that's not a criticism -- today's obsession with being the best kind of parent has led to a lot of anxiety and insecurity, in my humble opinion!) My family has stayed close despite geographical distance, and I attribute a lot to that to my parents. Thanks for an interesting read.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Louisa, I remember those days as well. Life was much simpler and the handbook was simply "life". There are a lot of wonderful parent sites, books, etc. to help raise kids these days, but I agree that nothing replaces plain, old, loving family connections and application. Enjoyed your comment. Take care and be safe out there.

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