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A normative (when we say normative, what we mean is when the behaviour is normal and is not excessive to the point that it becomes of concern) sibling relationship is generally afflicted with a bit of rivalry. This happens even in the animal kingdom as well. Most species seems to have an evolutionary design that leads the offspring to secure his life supply. In pigs it is the best milking spot. In birds it means sometimes deliberately killing a younger sibling. With children, fortunately, it is about occasionally securing toys, games and attention from the care givers. Although civilised society impresses on us the concept of pacifism, this idea can only be incorporated in the minds of children at a later stage in life. At a young age, children are more primal and would adopt more instinctual behaviours. Does this mean that it is OK to leave kids fighting it out? My answer is, yes. Unless the fighting poses a threat to the health of the children.

 

– 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