Causes Of Sibling Rivalry

There are quite a variety of causes of sibling rivalry. In fact, the exact causes of sibling rivalry in one family are almost never the same as the causes of sibling rivalry in another family. Still, there are overarching sorts of factors and events that can be, ultimately, the root causes of any sibling rivalry. Knowing what these important factors and events are can help you to not only understand the causes of sibling rivalry, but to deal with sibling rivalry more effectively when it does occur.

One of the most common causes of sibling rivalry tends to be jealousy. It may be, for example, that a toddler or preschool child is jealous when a new baby is born. More than one three year-old has thrown her hands in the air and declared, “Is that stupid baby still here!?!?” in frustration. The jealousy that an older sibling has for a new baby can, if not addressed properly and swiftly in the early years, can lead to continued jealousy on the part of the older sibling as time goes on.

Jealousy can also cause sibling rivalry when a child may feel that they are not getting equal amounts of parental attention. Siblings may become jealous of an older sibling because he is allowed more privileges than the younger children. Any number of other things can cause jealousy between siblings, as well, which can lead to sibling rivalry.

Sibling rivalry can also be caused by proximity in age. Research suggests that siblings that are within two years’ age of one another tend to have more sibling rivalry than other siblings. It is not entirely clear what role, if any, that gender may play in the causes of sibling rivalry, although it is not uncommon to find some strong opinions on this subject.

Ultimately, sibling rivalry is often caused by blocked goals or poor communication, just like almost any other sorts of conflict. Helping your children to communicate their needs and wants to one another, and helping them to try to be understanding each other, can go a long way toward addressing this particular cause of sibling rivalry.


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