10 Reasons Siblings are Bound to Fight Often

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Ever since Cain and Able, sibling rivalry has been an issue in families. Parents don’t want something this tragic to happen with their own children, but it’s perfectly normal for brothers and sisters to disagree. Sometimes they fight like cats and dogs while other times they’re best buddies. However, this mutual animosity can frequently occur without warning and drive their parents crazy. What are 10 reasons siblings are bound to fight often?

  1. Sibling rivalry – Let’s call it what it is and that’s simply sibling rivalry. This is a constant battle continually being fought by the children in just about every family. It’s a natural part of growing up with brothers and sisters and probably more prevalent in large families.
  2. Competition – There’s bound to be competition between siblings as they compete for everything from their parent’s affection to material goods. Every family has limited resources to be divided among the children and competition for these resources is going to cause fights.
  3. Seeking attention – Kids seeking attention are bound to fight with their siblings quite often. Nothing gets mom and dad’s attention better than starting a fight. The problem is the kind of attention they get isn’t going to be very affectionate.
  4. Age difference – Often times the age difference between siblings can be a contributing factor. Sometimes being close in age helps kids get along better and sometimes it will cause more competition and animosity. On the other hand a large age difference can also work either way. It really depends on the individual siblings.
  5. Personality difference – Even identical twins are born with their own unique personalities, so this can also contribute to conflict. Personality differences are bound to trigger fights among siblings. The kid with an aggressive nature will often goad a meeker sibling trying to get a reaction.
  6. Jealousy – One of the most common reasons for sibling rivalry is pure jealousy. Many times the firstborn child will be insanely jealous when the next child is born. Kids will also be envious of their sibling’s looks or intelligence and pick fights because of it.
  7. Parental favoritism – Real or imagined, siblings will often feel like their parents favor one child over another. Any perceived parental favoritism is bound to start a fight among siblings. How many times have we heard the accusation, “Mother always loved you best”?
  8. Different interests – Siblings are bound to have different interests and this is likely to cause conflicts. Kids will fight over everything from what to watch on TV to where they want to go when you eat out. These differences can get to the point where they drive their parents nuts.
  9. Too much togetherness – Siblings who are stuck in close proximity for extended periods of time are bound to pick fights. Too much togetherness can be a bad thing, especially on long car trips. Kids who continually bicker and fight may need a little time apart.
  10. Lack of discipline – Parents who don’t sufficiently discipline their children can let sibling rivalry get out of hand. Kids need to know there are rules and they need to be enforced consistently. Lack of parental discipline is bound to allow conflict to escalate.

As brothers and sisters struggle to establish their own identity and place in the family they’re bound to have fights. This is just a natural part of growing up and as they mature the conflicts should diminish. Skillful parenting can limit the sibling rivalry, but it’s nearly impossible to eliminate it altogether. Kids will be kids and hopefully any childhood animosity they have will be replaced with mutual respect and admiration by the time they reach adulthood. In the meantime, parents may need to let them work it out amongst themselves.

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