The term sibling refers to children who are related and usually living in the same family.
Sibling rivalry has existed as long as families. Think back to biblical times, and about Joseph's problems with his brothers, or consider the dreadful time Cinderella had with her stepsisters.
It seems strange that whenever the word sibling comes up, the word rivalry seems sure to follow, despite the fact that there are many solid sibling relationships in families, of brothers and sisters who like and enjoy one another.
What causes sibling rivalry? Think about it. Siblings don't choose the family they are born into. They don't choose each other. Siblings may be of a different sex, of a different age and temperament, and, worst of all, they have to share the one person or the two people they most want for themselves, their parents. Other factors include:
l Position in the family: For example, the oldest child may be burdened with responsibilities for the younger children, or the younger child spends his life trying to catch up with an older sibling;
l Sex, or perceived gender preference: For instance, a son may hate his sister because his father seems more gentle with her. On the other hand, a daughter may wish she could go on the hunting trip with her father and brother;
l And, or, age: Illustration - a five and an eight year old can play some games together, but when they become 10 and 13, they will probably be poles apart.
The most important factor, however, is parental attitude.
It's inevitable that parents will feel differently about children who have different personalities with differing needs, dispositions and place in the family. - Child Development Info