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  • Love Thy Brother, Love Thy Sister

    Transform sibling rivalry into sibling revelry!
    by Maan Pamaran .
  • Then, looking closely at her story, she explains several things, one of which is that the competition may be age- , or stage-related. “Age plays a role, and sibling rivalry differs depending on the age.  For example, it is the nature of very young children to be possessive of their belongings (i.e. toys) because they are in the "I-me-myself" stage, so once another sibling poses a threat to his belongings, that's when rivalry starts.  In older kids, they already have a sense of equality, justice, and fairness since they are beginning to form what Dr. Maria Montessori terms as a "practice society".  Sibling rivalry kicks in when they feel that one is being treated unfairly by a parent/adult. This is often the case with an older child who thinks his younger sibling is being favored over him because the latter is younger, cuter, etc.  This feeling extends to teenagers who might not take well to being held responsible for their younger siblings' actions, or looking after their younger siblings.  At this age, they want to assert more independence, thus despising having to help with chores or taking care of the baby as this would mean less ‘me’ time, and more ‘taking care of sibling’ time.”

    Stop the war!
    Teacher Krissie also comments on this writer’s memories of going into no-holds-barred fisticuffs with her younger brother, saying that parents should step in before the WWE cage or the UFC Octagon is delivered to their homes. “Brawls are unavoidable and natural.  Sometimes it serves as a way to expend the pent-up energy the siblings are feeling.  However, this should not be the case most of the time.  If the rivalry becomes too physical more often than not, then the parents must intervene. Parents must intervene when there is obvious and grave physical danger to the children, and of course in social settings. Otherwise, I say let them have a go at each other, especially with boys -- but there are limits of course! Simple shoving and pushing, the occasional hair-pulling and shouting, grabbing and harmless name-calling ("I don’t want to be your brother anymore!”) all happen in the heat of the moment. What the parents can do is to separate the kids until they clear their heads. In most cases, after this "heat of the moment" feeling, you will see them playing as if nothing happened.  Again, this is a reassurance that sibling rivalry is natural.”     

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