Sibling rivalries tend to be a notable issue in the household, as it turns sports equipment into weaponry, turn the most amicable of siblings into fierce rivals, and so on. Experts on parenting share their insights into the phenomenon that has lead to the classic scenario of bickering siblings.
At its root, sibling rivalry is how children compete for their parent’s resources, be it money or attention for father son activities.
Professor Laurie Kramer, of Boston’s Northeastern University’s Applied Psychology department, says that, as difficult and painful sibling rivalries can be, they’re part of the experience of life, and that they teach key life skills, such as understanding other people’s perspectives, communication and peaceful conflict resolution. According to her, the good thing about siblings is that, no matter the cause of the conflict, they’ll likely make up the following day and sit next to each other at the dinner table.
Jeffrey Kluger, author of the book The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, say that, while rivalries really can’t be avoided, how the family approaches the issue is key. He says that, for the most part, rivalries tend to be benign in nature, and that parents should instead focus on fostering long-term relations between siblings.
Mogel says that, like with a lot of things involving parenting, setting an example is a good idea when it comes to sibling rivalries; children tend to notice how their parents communicate with other close adults, like spouses and siblings. If kids see good adult relationships, the tendency is that they will want that too.
A lot of research says that it’s a good idea to give siblings the necessary skills and tools to properly and peacefully resolve conflicts. Kramer says that parents aren’t expected to intervene all the time, merely keep an eye on their kids and make sure that they’re able to communicate and sort out the problem with a solution that works for both sides.
Another advice is that, in the battle for parental affection, favoritism is a no-no. When it comes to bonding, prioritizing father son activities to the detriment of other relations is something parents should avoid. Certain achievements are more conspicuous than others, and it’s up to parents to celebrate the quieter achievements for their kid’s sake.