It doesn’t matter how many brothers or sisters we have, there will always be an element of rivalry, which unfortunately for most, lasts long after childhood.
Why do we have sibling rivalry?
Sibling rivalry is part of the family scenario, where children feel they have to compete for the attention of their parents, particularly if they’re getting very little attention, or none at all. It often starts when additional siblings are introduced into the family and the family dynamics are changed for the first time.
An only child who likes having their parents’ attention, may often feel threatened by the introduction of a new sibling. That has been my experience. As the family grows, there is often a pecking order between the siblings, because attention is paid to the children that conform, which leaves the other siblings fighting for attention.
Unfortunately, children whose parents don’t always recognise their abilities, who don’t encourage, support or give them the attention they need to thrive, will often remain stuck in the same kind of relationships as an adult. Unfortunately, we don’t always understand how family work and how we get to change those dynamics. I believe we must perceive family differently and work together.
Sibling rivalry isn’t always down to the parents though. The nature of where we are in our lives tends to have its own impact. Siblings tend to look at their sisters or brothers’ success and will often draw comparisons with what they achieve, rather than drawing comparisons only with themselves.
I believe it’s a human failing, but drawing comparisons is sadly something that society teaches and encourages and continues to encourage through competition.