Sibling Rivalry Essay


What is sibling rivalry? Sibling rivalry is the jealousy, struggle and fighting between brothers and sisters. It is a concern for almost all parents with two or more kids. Problems usually start right after the birth of the second child. Sibling rivalry usually continues throughout childhood and can be very frustrating and stressful to parents. There are lots of things parents can do to help their kids get along better and work through conflicts in positive ways. Michele Alignay, a Parenting Consultant at the Love Institute of the Philippines, mentioned that each child in a family competes to define who they are as individuals and want to show that they are separate from their siblings.

Children may feel they are getting unequal amounts of their parents’ attention, discipline, and responsiveness. Children fight more in families where there is no understanding that fighting is not an acceptable way to resolve conflicts, and no alternative ways of handling such conflicts.

Stress in the parents’ and children’s lives can create more conflict and increase sibling rivalry.

In October 2011, Rachelle Tyler, M.D., a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA believes that sibling rivalry can occur from very small children all the way through adults. In some cases, sibling rivalry may be very intense in the early years, but may become less intense as the siblings grow and mature. In other cases, sibling rivalry might not even begin to appear until the siblings are teenagers.

This is especially common given the fact that teenagers tend to have a harder time than others controlling their emotional responses. In addition, handling sibling rivalry in teenagers requires a different approach than handling sibling rivalry in younger children. Parents can play a key role in helping nurture a good sibling relationship and reduce sibling rivalry and conflict. By encouraging activities that foster teamwork, setting kids up to have fun together, and giving kids the tools to work out conflicts in a constructive and respectful manner, parents can help siblings develop a good relationship that will carry them through the rest of their lives. Objectives

a.) To identify the occurrence of sibling rivalry among high school students of Merry Treasure School Specific: b.) To determine the occurrence of sibling rivalry based from age gap c.) To know the outlook uttered by some respondents who frequently experience this kind of situation. Statement of the Problem:

a. What is the common factor that contributes in sibling rivalry?

a. What age will propagate the occurrence of sibling rivalry?

b. What is the outlook uttered by some respondents who frequently experience this kind of situation?
Age Gap ranging from two to three years contributes to sibling rivalry
Scope and Delimitation:
The research study focuses on the factors that contribute to sibling rivalry, specifically Age Gap. The respondents will be the 4th year students of Merry Treasure School.
Significance of the Study:

The results of the study will benefit the following people:
Parents – for them to make the necessary adjustment in dealing with sibling rivalry. Peers – for them to be aware of the behavior shown to them by the person related to. For children, it would help them realize that good relationships with their siblings promote better future when they begin to form a family of their own.

Review of Related Literature:
Abraham, Kim of Good Housekeeping Magazine articulated in her article that hearing the following phrases from kids: “Stop touching me!” “Give that back!” “Knock it off!” “MOM, he took my stuff!” “DAD, she won’t stay on her side of the car!” Sometimes is simply annoying and frustrating, like fingernails on a chalkboard. Other times, arguments cross the line into verbal and physical abuse. If you’re the parent of an oppositional, defiant child, you know that when they butt heads with brothers or sisters, they usually go “all in.” What starts as something minor quickly escalates to full-blown fighting and things can quickly get out of control. Parents often end up in the role of referee, just trying to regain peace in the home. In these cases, parents have things getting heated on both ends of the sibling rivalry: one child not willing to give up control or take responsibility and the other child who views him as a disruption to the family unit. Abraham stated in her article why things get so heated with her Defiant Child. One is because of wow frustration tolerance. She thinks that all kids have some difficulty tolerating frustration, particularly kids with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

These children will fight to gain control in any situation. The idea of giving in to another child—especially to a sibling—is unheard of in their minds. Another reason is feelings of resentment. Siblings of ODD children are usually very aware of the level of stress in their home. Oppositional Defiant kids often deliberately annoy or aggravate others—sometimes because they are bored, feeling spiteful or feeling miserable themselves. They have difficulty accepting responsibility and tend to blame others for conflicts. This frustrates not only us as parents, but other children in the home as well. They can start to resent the ODD child, who they view as creating chaos and problems for others. It can leave the other kids in the family feeling hurt and angry. In these cases you have things getting heated on both ends of the sibling rivalry: one child not willing to give up control or take responsibility and the other child who views him as a disruption to the family unit.

“The idea of allowing children to “work it out” during a conflict is that it teaches them how to resolve arguments or differences of opinion on their own. But when one of your children is Oppositional-Defiant, it changes things. If you’re the parent of an ODD kid, you’ve likely experienced the frustration that comes from trying to negotiate with that child. Siblings experience that very same frustration, but don’t yet have the skill set to effectively deal with the situation. They need you—the parent—to help them.” Abraham added. Kim Abraham mentioned that by teaching your children how to avoid negative situations can be an effective way in dealing with sibling rivalry. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. She uttered that walking away from a situation where one is starting to get upset is one way of stopping a conflict before it begins. Helping kids identify situations where it’s best to “stop it before it even starts.” You might say, “What does he do when he’s starting to get in that angry mood?”. The other child might say, “His voice gets louder and he starts pointing at me.”

You can then say, “When you see those warning signs, just walk away—nothing good is going to come of staying in there with him and trying to ‘win’ the fight.” “Teach your children how to recognize and set boundaries. Let your child know that everyone has the right to their own physical and emotional space. If someone is deliberately provoking you with words or actions, you have the right to ask them to stop or to walk away. If that person follows you, they are crossing a boundary. Unfortunately, ODD kids tend to believe strongly in their own right to boundaries, but have little or no respect for the boundaries of others. This translates to statements like this: “I know I took your video game , but stay out of my room!” This can be extremely frustrating for siblings to deal with. If your child sets a boundary with a sibling and it’s not respected, that’s the time to come get you—the parent—for assistance and support in enforcing those boundaries.” Abraham stated.

Kim Abraham affirmed that if one of your children does tend to be the one who walks away from fights or tries to negotiate with siblings rather than argue, make sure you recognize those attempts in a positive way. She declared that learning to cope and problem solve is part of growing and maturing. A parent should recognize that and praise any attempts either child makes to resolve a situation positively. Abraham also acknowledged that a parent should ensure Restitution. She confirmed that if one of your children harms a sibling or takes something from them, make sure there is a consequence. At the end of her article, she expressed that a family is like a sports team playing the game of life together. Not all the players get along. Not all the players like each other. But that’s not a ticket to be mean or disrespectful. A parent’s role is to model good sportsmanship, teach skills and intervene when necessary.

If one of the players fouls a teammate or refuses to follow the rules, their job as The Coach is to bench that child temporarily in a time out. Jann Blackstone-Ford‚ one of the article writers of Midlife Motherhood, has provided tips for raising kids with big age differences. One is to be careful not to become angry or blame older children. She stated that this will only cause them to resent the younger one for “causing trouble.” In most cases the younger child is experimenting with this newly learned behavior to see how their Mom or Dad will react to it and to see how it feels to be more grown up. She added that the best way to handle problems in this area is to set appropriate but not punitive limits in the way you would with other frustrating behaviors. This is also an opportunity to invite a discussion about how the child feels about having a much older sibling. Ford articulated that a parent should be careful that they don’t fuss over their younger child and forget how their older children feel.

It’s not uncommon for older children to resent the attention the younger one receives, causing them to be resentful and intolerant of the younger sibling. This is a legitimate gripe for many older children, and when necessary, parents would do well to provide a sympathetic ear, rather than dismissing these concerns. She uttered that parents should teach their older children about tolerance, understanding, and patience for their younger sibling. Younger children admire and crave attention and respect from their older siblings and therefore feel confused and hurt if they are rejected. For example, if a teenager is furious that her five-year-old sister took her makeup, CD, or clothes, parents can take the time to show her that she only did it because she wants to be just like her older sister. While this may not help completely, it will give the teenager an opportunity to be forgiving and to feel flattered that she is a role model.

Lastly, she avowed that parents should protect the privacy and belongings of older children. They should provide them with shelves and closets to store important belongings. Furthermore, younger siblings need to be taught that they can’t touch things that don’t belong to them or go in their brother’s or sister’s room without permission. Older children that feel respected by their parents are much less likely to be intolerant of younger siblings. When mutual respect is cultivated, siblings can become friends even when they are separated by many years. “When is the best time to have a second child? Is there a perfect age gap that will ensure limited sibling rivalry and less stress all round?” – Those were the questions asked by Marney Studaker-Cordner to herself, a writer in Working Mom(June 2006) According to the Office of National Statistics, the average interval between births in the UK is two years and nine months Every age gap brings its own benefits and drawbacks and only you can decide what’s best for you and your family based on a multitude of factors.

Studaker-Cordner stated that sibling rivalry is less intense when the age difference between the first and second child is 18 months or less, say the experts, mainly because by the time the second child arrives, the eldest won’t yet have a fully developed sense of identity and so is less likely to be jealous. Other good news is that a shorter gap can help get childcare costs and the care of very young children over and done with in a shorter space of time. Research shows that conceiving again 18 months after giving birth is best for the new baby’s health. However, sibling rivalry tends to be at its strongest when the age gap between children is around two years, which has much to do with child development issues. At the age of two children become frustrated easily when they cannot control their environment.

This means they are more prone to tantrums and jealousy. What works in a parent’s favor is that the age gap is not too large – so as they get older the kids will start to play together and enjoy being with each other. After three years, the chances of sibling rivalry lessen. This gap is good for the eldest child’s self esteem – they are more secure and more independent as they have had their parent’s attention for three years. Plus, giving the mother’s body a rest of over two years between pregnancies allows you to fully recover from the challenges of childbirth. A larger age gap also allows you time back at work in between and the opportunity to spend time with each child, when one is at preschool/school. On the downside, the age gap can be too wide for the children to play together or be close, though the differences may get smaller as they both get older. The parents will also have to effectively start over again with nappies, sleepless nights and caring for a tiny baby just when a mother put all that behind her.

Research Methodology

In this chapter, the research will discuss the methods and procedures the researcher used to make this study possible. Namely the Selection of Sample, Instrumentation, The Validation of Instrument, Gathering of Data and the Statistical Treatment of Data.

Selection of Sample

In selecting the respondents, the researcher used the simple random sampling, specifically the fish bowl technique, a method wherein everyone has a chance and possibility to answer the questionnaire.


For the instrument, the researcher used questionnaire.
Validation of the Instrument

a. Pre Testing

For the pre testing of the questionnaire, the researcher chose one respondent to answer to answer to find out whether the data could be gathered easily. The researcher also had a copy of the questionnaire to be thoroughly checked and examined. The purpose of sending a copy to the teacher is to ensure that the study will be reliable.

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