Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sibling Rivalries

John Marine | 1/12/2012 02:30:00 PM | |
Having children and building a family is always something special. That is... until there is a feeling of sibling rivalries developing. Imagine feeling like one child is favored over another. It becomes an issue of favoritism when one child feels less respected than the other (or another). Depending on how unloved a certain sibling feels, he/she may feel totally disregarded or not regarded enough.

Outside of sibling rivalries, how must the parents take it? Unconditional, undivided love is all a child could ever want from his/her parents. Who wants to feel left behind in a family? Who wants to feel like another sibling is better than another? In reality, when certain siblings feel like they aren't loved as much, a disconnect is formed. That disconnect can lead to the sibling being even more depressed and unwanted.

Allow me to set the mood of this blog post with a picture:

sibling rivalry
^ from: - Who's the better sibling? All siblings are, at least in the minds of parents who successfully disallow sibling rivalries to fester.

Love Among Siblings.

I think the important thing to remember is that unless certain parents or relatives are too negligent, siblings are loved. After all, giving birth to and raising children are some of the great joys of being a parent and having a family. The real problem can lie with some sort of internal struggle among siblings. One has to be able to try and keep everyone together without a huge rift opening that may never be repaired. A bond between family members is stronger than almost any bond with a friend. So a separation or divide among siblings can be devastating.


Feeling like one child is favored over another can lead to favoritism. Someone better regarded than another child can have the less-favored child feeling terrible. It is almost as if one sibling just exists while another is better treated and regarded than another. The feeling can be horrible because one child would feel like, "what more do I have to do to be better-favored among my parent(s)?" It can a feeling of not being good enough among the family. Feeling like you are not the favorite child in the family can lead to isolation. Unless some sort of resolution or consolation is provided, more extreme cases can lead to violence, injury, or even death. Sibling rivalries and favoritism can both be suppressed before things REALLY get out of hand.

--- Sibling Rivalries: Resources ---

One way to easily tear up a family is to have a divide among siblings. It is okay for siblings to have their differences, but it should never come to any serious point to where they feel more like bitter enemies rather than family members. The issue can be worse if there are no parents or any other facilitator to help resolve and break up an internal struggle among siblings. Have you ever found yourself in a family situation where you are less favored over another sibling? Do you feel like you have to constantly compete for love and respect from your parents?

If you need some online resources to help you deal with sibling rivalries, I have found the following websites that may give you some guidance and some direction. Have a look:

Sibling Rivalry - KidsHealth
Sibling Rivalry: Your Child: University of Michigan Health System
Adult Sibling Rivalry | Psychology Today
Handling Sibling Rivalry - Parent Tips
It's My Life . Family . Sibling Rivalry . You vs. Them | PBS Kids GO!

More may be added in future edits.

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John B. Marine said...

Interesting post. I've never had a serious rivalry with my siblings, lol. We argue occasionally, but all siblings do.  I love my brother and sister and our parents never made us feel unloved, thankfully.  I have seen my parents have strange relationships/rivalries with some of their siblings though...   Do you have any siblings John? (Sorry if that's  nosy, just wondering)    :)

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