Sibling Rivalry Quotes (34 quotes)
How to Handle the Stress of Adult Sibling Rivalry
By Judith Woods for MailOnline. Updated: BST, 3 July While competition between siblings may be mostly harmless during childhood, it can bring out the absolute worst in us if it develops into envy in later life, as Judith Woods reports. Sibling rivalry. What could be more natural, more healthy? The very phrase conjures up nostalgic images of ruddy-cheeked boys, straining to beat each other at tree climbing or Ludo. Or little girls, eyes shining with eagerness to outsmart one another in the classroom, guilelessly striving to please their parents at home.
It turns out that these maternal behaviors shape sibling connections in significant and very lasting ways. Research shows that even with a loving mother, a child is quick to spot and react to favoritism; in fact, the pain of recognition actually outweighs the amount of love directly expressed to her or him. With a mother who makes favoritism a part of daily life, the effects are deep and significant. My mother is and has always been highly critical of me and Julie just loves to get in on the action. Too toxic.
In fact, these rivalries are hardly innocent, as they can rip apart families once considered loving and intact. While little evidence has been shown to prove a genetic link to sibling rivalry, individuals may begin the rivalry early on. Judy Dunn, a pioneer in sibling studies, observed siblings in their home environment and gathered information regarding sibling interactions. She noted that even at 18 months, younger siblings observed and reacted to the way their mothers interacted with older siblings. Furthermore, by age three, most children understand societal norms and can use rules for their own benefit. Parents play a huge role in creating jealousy among siblings.
Sibling rivalry isn't always outgrown in childhood, however; in some cases, it only intensifies as time passes. While people often think of sibling rivalry as a childhood phenomenon, adult sibling rivalry is a common phenomenon in which adult siblings struggle to get along, argue, or are even estranged from one another. One study found that more than a third of adults between 18 and 65 had apathetic or hostile relationships with their siblings. Research has shown that parenting plays a significant role in contributing to adult sibling rivalry. While parents may strive to remain unbiased when it comes to their kids, favoritism is actually very common.