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Sibling rivalry refers to the unavoidable rivalry and hatred that exists between siblings. This type of connection is most common between siblings who are close in age, although it can also exist when there are bigger age gaps, as well as between siblings who are not blood relatives. Rather than a one-time argument over who gets better grades or who gets the last piece of Halloween candy, sibling rivalry tends to flare up frequently, regularly, and sometimes without any discernible common denominator. One of the earliest and most lasting ties that people form is with their siblings. “Siblings are a child’s first peer group, where they learn critical social skills like how to share, manage conflict, and communicate.” Understanding the potential reasons of family feuds is the first step in dealing with them. Your children are unlikely to argue simply because one toy is superior or one piece of cake is larger. Instead, the bulk of disputes are caused by underlying factors such as birth order and family relationships. The primary source of comfort, protection, and appreciation for firstborn children is their parents. When you add another sibling, they suddenly feel compelled to compete for your attention. Even if you don’t make any deliberate adjustments, a sibling may see even minor alterations in how you talk, engage with, and react to their sibling as possible risks to their own comfort and well-being.

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