PARENTING: Battle of the siblings

You would think that because siblings share DNA, rivalry doesn’t exist amongst them.
Parental favoritism causes conflict among children. Net photo.
Parental favoritism causes conflict among children. Net photo.

You would think that because siblings share DNA, rivalry doesn’t exist amongst them.

Many people think that, grudges only exist among people who have no blood connection or are near-strangers. However, this is so wrong. Every member of society stands a chance to fall victim to conflict regardless of whether there is a blood relation between particular individuals.

Everyone is born with different interests, gifts, temperaments, habits and attitudes---therefore existence of physical, mental and spiritual differences among individuals, doubtlessly force its custodians to show hate and dislike to the other party involved. Besides, if adults can hold personal grudges among themselves, how about children, or siblings to be more exact?

Additionally, it’s important to know that, society and conflict are naturally inseparable; on the menu, they are two different delicacies served compulsorily alongside each other. Since siblings are groomed by society, why should they be excused for practicing what they are taught?

Quite correspondingly, everyone has to know that violence and jealousy are naturally embedded in the human system, so sibling rivalry is a manifestation that these children are simply acting human. It’s also equally necessary to know that sibling rivalry is just as old as family itself. Take the story of biblical brothers, Cain and Abel, for example. Cain hated his brother so much because he felt God favored him more and that’s why he killed him. 

Existence of rivalry (even at its worst) among siblings doesn’t imply there is love deficiency in the family; in fact sometimes existence of conflict could be an element of love itself. It could surprisingly be a suggestion of a strong brotherhood that exists between the siblings. Life is a mystery!

In the West, sibling rivalry has reached another level; a boy shot his brother dead after a dispute over the use of the T.V remote control. These are the extremes.

Below are some of the likely causes of sibling rivalry, according to research.

Jealousy is a major cause especially when the arrival of a new baby does not go down well with the older child. All the parent’s attention and care shifts to the new kid leaving the older one bitter and forgotten. That kind of hatred doesn’t always leave with age. Some people grow up still hating on their younger siblings especially if the parents still dot on them.

Closeness in age range is also a probable cause of sibling rivalry. Because of the slight age difference, the younger one usually thinks that the other isn’t any older and that they have the same abilities. “What he can do, I can do as well” is the attitude hence leaves each party in a pursuit to resolve their might.

Parental favoritism also causes conflict among children. A son may hate his sister because his father seems gentler with her. Similarly, a handicapped child could earn himself “beef” from others because he presumably gets more attention and care.   

Comparing one kid to another is definitely one way to start the rivalry. One has to know that every child feels unique; therefore, it is insulting to consistently compare one child to another. They develop feelings of dislike towards each other, hence stimulating rivalry.

In conclusion, sibling rivalry cannot be completely done away with, but its negative implications can be reduced or controlled—this can only be achieved, first, by understanding the cause of the grudge, as this is what determines the direction of an appropriate solution.


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