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Sibling rivalry is often the most common aspect out of the bonds of siblings which seem to attract our attention. I argue that, unfortunately, we have a tendency to focus on it as we fail to appreciate to broader and more beautiful complexities of this relationship. It is much like focusing on that small dot which is out of place within an otherwise beautiful picture.

The bond that brothers and sisters share is unique in many ways and they deserve closer examination. Your children fight. That is true. Your children go bezerk when one of their siblings touches their things. That is true to. I can probably sit here and confirm a long list of things that “go wrong”, but that is not why I took up this blog today. My scope here is to educate the readers to why all this is part of a greater purpose and why these interactions, as negative as they may seem, are necessary for our children to thrive.

First, I would like to quote Jeffrey Kluger, author of The Sibling Effect, suggests that children aged between two to four years have a tendency to engage in one fight per three minutes. How on earth can that be good, you may think? The truth is that these interactions are much like our training ground. Consider them as an opportunity for someone to practise things which will eventually become more complicated. In bouts between siblings, we practise negotiations, we test the boundaries of our strength, we try strategies that lead us attaining our goals and more they also help us to become accustomed to losing and rising out of sadness and defeat.

 

– Mike Orland is a family therapist practicing the systemic approach.  He offers therapy to individuals, families and couples, and runs the family therapy services within Willingness.  He can be contacted on mike@willingness.com.mt