Pregnancy and Parenting Features

How Common Is Sibling Rivalry?

Some degree or another of sibling rivalry is extremely common. In fact, it is safe to say that sibling rivalry occurs in the vast majority of families, at least to some extent. Some experts believe that not only is sibling rivalry a common thing for families, but it is actually an indicator that the family is a healthy and normal one. Some go as far as to suggest that sibling rivalry, in its mildest forms anyways, is even beneficial to a family.

Having said all of that, the fact remains that severe sibling rivalry is much less common than the occasional dispute between siblings. For the most part, studies suggest that sibling rivalry tends to be more common and more severe when the children are of the same gender, or when they are close together in age. This is because proximity in age can cause siblings to be more likely to compete, whether it is in the area of academics, or in sports, or whether they are competing socially. In the same way, siblings of the same gender will often compete. This is especially true of siblings of the same gender who share a room, as it can be difficult for a child to find some place that they can be alone, and that they can call their own exclusively.

It is also common for sibling rivalry to be intensified by other circumstances. When, for example, a parent tends to favor one child over another, this can lead to a variety of feelings, such as jealousy, which can cause or intensify the sibling rivalry. It is also common for sibling rivalry to be made more severe by a lack of communication. In fact, teaching your children good and positive communication skills is one of the best ways that you can help to reduce the amount of sibling rivalry that they experience.

Sibling rivalry is less common as children grow up and get older. While sibling rivalry may exist in adults, for example, it is much more common for siblings to get along better as adults than they did as children.

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