For siblings of all ages and backgrounds, the need for fighting can seem like an endless saga of bickering and disputing. This occurs for adoptive siblings as well as biological ones. In our last blog series, we explored the unique characteristics of adopting a child when you already have your own gaggle of kids. When it comes to domestic adoption, we are the best! Unlike the masses of adoption agencies in California, our adoption center puts an emphasis on offering birth mother help to keep all parties happy and healthy. We work to streamline the process in order to get more children into the loving embrace of their perfectly paired parents. However, these parents may soon be in for the experience of having their children squabble and quarrel. This is caused by a term known as sibling rivalry.

What Is Sibling Rivalry?

Children who are grouped together as brothers and sisters often feel the intense competition amongst rival kin. Many kids, especially younger in life, see their siblings as an opposing force that is seeking to hoard the limited resources of the family. This strife stems from the closeness and similarities amongst siblings. Although the previous statement sounds counterintuitive, it is helpful to think of the other sibling as close to identical to you as possible. In order to define themselves amongst the crowd, children will lash out to prove that they are their own entity and are entitled to the right amount of attention and resources.

Sibling rivalry is a common occurrence amongst many families. It is interesting to note that the animal kingdom also holds strong accounts of rivalry amongst related animals. Whereas humans will feud and bicker, animals often take a much more extreme approach to retaining offspring superiority. The next time the kids start to tussle, remember that they luckily aren’t violent hyenas!

What Causes It?

There is an abundance of reasons as to why siblings compete and fight. While these issues are often minor or superficial, it is important to remember that children can take things too far. Proper parent intervention may be needed when dealing with:

  • Property disputes. One of the most common sources of feuding starts with “no that’s mine!” Children are always possessive of their items and are quick to lash out at anybody breaking the touch rule. This quickness to aggression is even more intense when it involves the closest relative that you happen to be competing with for valuable resources. Close quarters promotes strife amongst siblings, and parents are always the first ones to step in to calm things down.
  • Preferential treatment. Any inequality in the distribution of love, hugs, and property can spark the powder keg known as sibling rivalry. From holiday gifts to homework praises, kids are often quick to demand equal payment. If Sister has a new toy and I don’t, what does that say about me? Treating your children (adopted or biological) equally will help to dissuade much of the tension created from treatment inequalities.

When it comes to sibling rivalry, many parents become frustrated. However, many turbulent relationships lead to unparalleled closeness amongst brothers and sisters. Next week, we’ll look into a few more causes of sibling disputes. If you’re looking to adopt through an adoption agency in California, consider our top-notch adoption center instead. If interested, don’t hesitate to contact us today for more details!