The Role of Sibling Relationships in Children’s Development
It is stated that the views that describe mother and child communication in isolation from other members of the family are misleading. Children’s relationships with other members of the family, especially siblings, play an important role in their development. It is known that sibling dynamics have a significant effect on the personality development of children. According to the social learning perspective, siblings can act as role models in personality development. At this point, it is stated that the younger sibling imitates the older sibling, so that the older sibling becomes a role model. Research with 20-month-old and 14-month-old babies and their older siblings supports this view. According to the research, it is observed that 20-month-old babies acquire some social skills by imitating their older siblings. Similar results were obtained in a study with 14-month-old babies.
Another area where sibling relationships play a role in personality development is conflict between siblings. According to the researchers, conflict between siblings is effective in the personality development of children. Specifically, it is stated that these conflicts arise from the rivalry between siblings arising from parents comparing their children. The person tends to develop a different character in order to reduce the rivalry with his sibling. In addition, conflict between siblings can also be effective in the development of some skills in children. Especially in children, these conflicts can be constructive in the development of skills such as gaining perspective, reading emotions and problem solving.
Sibling conflict can also have a negative impact on child development. According to studies, it is stated that sibling conflicts in childhood can lead to problems such as school problems, bullying and substance use in the following years. It is stated that the jealousy underlying the sibling conflicts is caused by the parents not showing an equal attitude towards their children. At this point, it is underlined that parents’ equal attitude towards their children has a significant impact on their children’s self-confidence development.
jealousy between siblings
Jealousy is a complex emotion that arises when we think that a relationship we value is threatened and that we may lose it. For this reason, jealousy always contains a triple relationship. In this context, the tripartite relationship; consists of the jealous child, the envied sibling and the parent, and each relationship established between this trio affects the other.
If a child feels less loved or taken care of than their sibling, this can lead to lower self-esteem, insecure attachment and ongoing sibling jealousy in the future. At the same time, they may be more inclined to see others as their rivals. These people may also exhibit more jealous attitudes in their romantic relationships. So, how does the situation develop in people who think that they receive more love and attention compared to their siblings? This is associated with higher self-confidence, but these people are also known to have more problems in their romantic relationships. However, the romantic relationships of siblings who think they received equal love in childhood are also less problematic.
How Do Parents Take Part in Strengthening Sibling Relationships?
It is important that the sibling relationships that affect the development of people, their relationships in their future lives and even their characters are strong and strong. From time to time, the brothers argue among themselves. As in any relationship, it is quite normal to have minor conflicts in sibling relationships. Parents play an important role in strengthening sibling relationships. So, what can parents do to strengthen their children’s bonds? The 5 tips we have compiled to strengthen your children’s fraternal relationships can be guiding:
First, encourage siblings to respect each other.
Siblings may have different temperaments. In order to avoid arguments that may arise from this difference, they need to learn to respect each other. When talking to your child, highlight that his sibling may be different from him and teach him to respect these differences.
Never compare your children with each other.
Avoid creating environments where siblings may be jealous of each other. Conflicts that may arise out of jealousy can also negatively affect the relations of siblings.
Take care to spend special time and activities with each of your children.
As we mentioned in our previous articles, parents are very effective in sibling jealousy. For this reason, the one-on-one time you spend with each of your children can prevent jealousy that may arise.
Organize weekly or monthly family meetings.
Allow each family member to speak at these meetings. Encourage your children to communicate well. Suggest options that could be beneficial for both, especially when they’re discussing it. You can offer to set rules so they can reach consensus.
Organize activities where your children can work as a team.
For example; Give your kids tiny tasks to help them clean the house. In fact, making children one team and adults another can encourage children to work together towards a common goal by beating their parents.