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Time-Out With SURPIN May edition- SIBLING RIVALRY - Dr. Raphael Ogbolu & Dr. Sulyman Dauda

What is Sibling Rivalry?

Sibling rivalry is the jealousy, competition, animosity and fighting between brothers and sisters. Sibling rivalry can also be described as the ongoing conflict between kids raised in the same family. It can happen between blood-related siblings, stepsiblings, and even adopted or foster siblings.

Sibling rivalry often continues throughout childhood and sometimes into adulthood. It can be very frustrating and stressful to parents. Rivalry in adolescents may be more serious than in childhood, because they are better equipped to physically, intellectually, and emotionally hurt and be intellectually and emotionally hurt by each other.

This topic is also important because we must remember that most children learn how to interact with their peers/ and friends by learning how to interact with their siblings and their parents first.

Parental favoritism: This is often most cited as one of the sources of sibling rivalry, It's also common for people to feel that a sibling is or 'has always been' favoured by a parent, even if this may not be recognized or acknowledged by the rest of the family.

Psychologically, sibling rivalry may serve a developmental purpose: It helps children figure out what is unique and special about them otherwise known as “differentiation” , But it becomes pathological when it's intense Children want to be seen as the most special by their parents, so they’re “always going to push for preferential treatment,” over their siblings. But they may also shape their interests and personalities around their siblings’ skills and desires.

For example, let’s say the older son is a soccer star. The younger child or children may then avoid soccer altogether, either because they are afraid they won’t be as good as their brother or because they fear they might be better and outshine their brother — and they don’t want to take that risk either.

Sibling rivalry may be particularly intense when children are very close in age and of the same gender and/or where one or both children are intellectually gifted.

Sibling rivalry can lead to toxic relationship, when a sibling believes he/she is never wrong.

He/she blames others and does not take responsibility for their own part.