"He started it!" "Get out of my room!" "She's touching my stuff!" Sound familiar? What about, "Why can't you be more like your sister?" Not that it helps matters much, but sibling rivalry has been around since the beginning of time. Just when all you want is to be appreciated, you have a fierce competitor sleeping in the bedroom down the hall. It's common to have sibling rivalry, especially if they're the same sex and close in age, than the other way around. Almost 80% of us grow up wrestling and trading noogies with at least one brother or sister. Siblings are the first peers we live with on an intimate basis. Although it's one of the most emotionally significant relationships we will ever have, like most of the worthwhile things in life, it's not easy. Why all the trouble? Well, some wise man once said quarrels would not last long if the fault was only on one side. Sibling rivalry is part of the family package. It begins with the roles our families assign us: the pretty one, the smart one, the responsible one, the "good" one versus the “bad” one, the sloppy one, the forgetful one, or the lazy one. The labels not only pit kids against each other, they become the foundation of how we define ourselves. Each title comes with its pros and cons. If you are the rebel and your sister is the "good" one, you probably envy the love and approval she receives, and she's probably jealous of your freedom. The kid with the problem gets more attention. The kid who does everything right feels overlooked. So what can you do? The suggestions might appear simple, but they work when dealing with sibling rivalry. Encourage your parents not to take sides when you disagree with your sibling. It's not their business to find out who is at fault or to choose who is the guiltier party. There's nothing wrong with being angry and saying so about your sibling rivalry. State what's on your mind and tell your sibling how you feel about sibling rivalry, even if it's "I hate you." Then try to come up with what can be done to resolve the argument. Try not to be hurtful or to attack. Because you understand your siblings better than probably anyone else, you have the ability to hurt them more deeply than anyone else. "You're fat," or "You're ugly," are criticisms that will never promote healing. Don't let the fight fester with your sibling rivalry. You have to let go of the concept of revenge, even if it's justified. Most times when you no longer have to share space, arguments become a lot less frequent. Unfortunately, when sibling rivalry is really bad as teenagers, bad feelings can carry on long after you've left the house and become an adult. No sibling rivalry is worth turning a brother or sister into your enemy.
Positive sibling relationships can be a source of strength for life, while unsolved sibling rivalry can cause wounds that never quite heal. While we all inevitably have differences of opinion, taste, and style, brothers and sisters can provide us with support, encouragement, friendship, and camaraderie throughout our lives.
Learn about siblings rivalry and get helpful tips for living in peace from BeingGirl.com.