10 Common Reasons Why Teen Siblings Fight

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If you have teenagers, then you know that there are a lot of ups and downs with raising them.  They are pushing the boundaries and getting ready to leave the nest.  They are often rebellious and will fight with you and their siblings over the silliest of things.  But in a time when you think that your teenagers should be getting closer, why do they still have such big fights?  Check out 10 common reasons why teen siblings fight.

  1. Inequality: Often sibling fights start because one sibling doesn’t feel they are being treated fairly by the parents.  The oldest usually gets more privileges and can stay out later than the younger.  Maybe the oldest is involved in sports while the youngest isn’t so they feel like the world revolves around the schedule of the older child.
  2. Jealousy: One sibling might be jealous of what the other sibling has.  Maybe one teen has a phone and the other doesn’t have one yet.  Or maybe one got a car when they turned 16 and the other didn’t because the car was meant to be shared between the teens when the time came that they could both drive.
  3. Hormones: Everyone knows that teenagers have raging hormones and not just the kind that are aimed at members of the opposite sex.  Hormone imbalances can cause irritability and just make them short tempered so any perceived slight will set them off on a rant.
  4. Unmet expectations: Sometimes teens think that they have each other’s back, but then the sibling will rat the other one out if they broke the rules.  Expectations are a big deal, but are often assumed and teens need to realize that no one reads minds and that if they don’t express their expectations then theirs sibling won’t be able to meet them.
  5. Frustration: Being a teen is frustrating enough.  School is harder and more stressful.  Members of the opposite sex enter into the picture and cause their own drama.  Teens can be frustrated with each other for nothing more than eating something too loudly.  If things don’t go their way in one aspect of their world they may take it out on their sibling.
  6. Feeling of betrayal: This is more likely to happen when there are teens of the same sex in the household.  One sister dates the boy the other sister liked and now she feels betrayed by her own sister.  Or one brother gets into an argument with another guy and his brother sides with the other guy instead of him.  Siblings feel like even though they fight that they should stick together on the important stuff and that just doesn’t always happen.
  7. Competition: Who’s the biggest, skinniest, prettiest, fastest or most talented?  Siblings will compete with each other and results of the competitions most always cause a fight.  The other person had to have cheated or somehow rigged the contest.  Maybe it’s not a looks contest, but a contest to see who’s smartest?  Who gets better grades?
  8. Need for space: Teenagers seem to do a lot of deep thinking and they need their space.  When a younger teen interrupts an older sibling’s private time or invades their space there is likely going to be fireworks and not the good kind.  This also includes sitting too closely to them in the car.  The whole fight about who’s touching whom will ensue and you’ll want to pull your hair out, but keep in mind this too shall pass.  
  9. Touching or taking their stuff: Another thing that teenagers are is possessive of their things.  They don’t want their sibling to use, touch or take anything that belongs to them.  If their sister borrowed their favorite shirt without asking and now it’s dirty and they wanted to wear it to the game there’s going to be a lot of fighting.  As soon as kids get something they consider to be their own, these kinds of fights start and it doesn’t stop when they become older teenagers.  It just gets louder and the stuff gets more expensive.
  10. Insults flying: Sometimes teenagers just fight because they can.  Perhaps they get bored and just feel like picking a fight, but it’s often just stupid stuff that they fight about.  Siblings know how to push each other’s buttons and they will do it just to get a rise out of their sibling.  There’s just something about irritating each other that’s part of the growing up process.
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