Sibling Rivalry Essay

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Sibling Rivalry Sibling rivalry is one of humanity's oldest problems. One of the first stories in the Bible deals with the rivalry between two brothers, Cain and Abel. The older brother, Cain, was irritated at constantly having to help take care of his younger brother, Abel, and kept asking his parents: "Am I my brother's keeper?" The story of these two brothers has a tragic ending; Cain becomes so angry that he kills Abel. The fact that this is one of the first stories within the Bible shows the great importance given to the problem of sibling rivalry. By "sibling rivalry" we mean the hostility between brothers and/or sisters, which turns itself into situations ranging from common children's fights to more serious…show more content…
Looking at this situation in very simple terms, if the parents have only a certain limited amount of exclusive time to give to ALL their children, it is easy to see that if there is only ONE child in that family, ALL of the parents' available time will be for that only child; if there are TWO children in the family, then each child can have HALF of the parents' time: and so on. A young child cannot yet reason very well - bear in mind that he or she is just beginning to learn to speak. However, even at this young age, the child's EMOTIONAL feeling is well developed. In addition, what he or she feels is an intense DISLIKE for this new situation, and associates this disagreeable situation with the new baby. To complicate the child's frustration, this new situation goes on and on. Remember that, for a child, one day is a very long time, and a week may seem like an eternity. To make matters worse, this is happening just as the first-born is entering one of the most difficult and frustrating life-periods, for both the child and the parents, the so-called "terrible twos." Part of the problem is that the human mind tends to process emotional impulses before it processes conscious thoughts. Without knowing, the older child begins to look for ways to try to get the parents to "stop loving" the younger one. Later, the first-born will also begin to directly irritate and bother the younger child. When the parents become aware of this, they

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