Sibling rivalry – Why?

We just want to be one big happy family. When we had our second child we saw a new side to our first child. This was a side we couldn’t have imagined when he was our only child. I know it is called “sibling rivalry”, but why?

Imagine being married for three years and out of nowhere your husband brings home another wife. “Honey, I love you so much I thought two wives would be even better!”

That wouldn’t work for you. Expanding the family by taking the starring role away from the oldest child takes some effort on the part of the parents.

Sibling rivalry, the sense of competition between siblings is a reality. It’s also not a bad thing and it does need to be dealt with. Sibling rivalry takes the center stage of life out of the hands of the oldest or older children. Sibling rivalry is a battle for power, position or for the parent’s attention.

Having siblings does teach children to work together and how to share. Children must be taught to handle their sense of sibling rivalry or a family could end up like the Biblical character Jacob. Jacob’s sons were so jealous of Joseph that they sold him into slavery, just to get rid of him.

There is an opportunity in the tension that sharing siblings must learn to deal with. It’s great practice for marriage.

Tomorrow: When is sibling rivalry most likely to take place?