Sibling Rivalry… Why Can’t They Just Get Along?


Sibling Rivalry

Sibling Rivalry Why Can’t they Just Get Along?

Around here lately has been a war zone as we have crept into unknown territory, Sibling Rivalry. It’s an odd place to be because we haven’t been there much before but lately everything has been a battle. Words have been aimed and fired from sibling to sibling always hitting the mark. Wounded and not to be out done the other retaliates with more additions to the vicious cycle that is Sibling Rivalry. I can’t pin point a moment when I realized it has gotten to this boiling point. There has always been some rivalry because of how close they are in ages and both of them are attention thrivers. They still have always been really close even if they did have their moments. We are all entitled to moments but the good should still out weight the bad. Right?


They have shared so much between the two of them. It wasn’t hard at all to find older pictures of them together hugging, acting silly, and just being funny. Together they have grown up as friends, enemies, confidants, and partners in crime. Yet somewhere along the line their like for each other has wavered. I know deep down they still love each other as siblings should but they would prefer to love from afar.

Every crumb of attention one gets the other covets no matter the attention they have previously been given. They don’t rejoice in each other’s successes and sometimes even laugh at the other’s failures. Is this a normal party of being a sibling? Is this Sibling Rivalry normal?


I can remember having rivalry with my brother yet I can remember lots of good times with him too. From playing together to him being my big protector in school, we were there for each other. Even now I know that if I need him or he needs me, either of us are a phone call away. We don’t even have to ask, we just tell each other what we need because we already know that no matter the request, it’s done. That is what I want for my kids. I want them to be there for each other when they grow up. I want them to have a strong bond and be able to protect each other. I just don’t know who is going to protect them from each other.


I have read the many ways experts have said to help prevent this.

Don’t compare your kids… To compare my kids would be to compare apples, watermelons, and vw bugs.  I don’t compare my kids and I never have. They are all different and unique and both my husband and I have always encouraged them to be themselves. I don’t think that was the cause.

Plan family activities together… We do things together all the time. We have always had fun and done fun things together in the past it just recently got to be a fight to get through an activity that involves more than one kid. I still don’t think this was it either.

Ensure each child has enough space of their own… They have their own rooms. We spend special time with each child. Not this one either.

Catch children being good and reward good behavior… We have always practiced positive reinforcement.

The so called experts give no clue as to how I can help them to reconcile.

The only thing I can see is the addition of a third child to the mix has unsettled the balance and caused a situation change. Although, I kinda like her so there isn’t no sending her back. We just have to figure out how to get them to realize that even though there is more to love there is enough love to go around and they don’t have to assert their dominance to acquire the attention they are seeking. It would also be nice to be able to do an activity or go play outside without the verbal push and shove for a change.

Anyone ever give the “Get Along Tshirt” a try to help with sibling rivalry? 

5 thoughts on “Sibling Rivalry… Why Can’t They Just Get Along?

  1. I don’t have kids of my own yet, but I’ve nannied for 10 years and worked as an elementary school substitute teacher for another few. One of my best tips is to have them encourage one another on a regular basis. When your heart is focused on bringing joy to the other person it’s a lot harder to harbor bitterness totowards them. With one of the families I worked for we had “Encouragement September”. Each day of the month the two kids had to do at least one nice thing to encourage the other. Sometimes it was a gift, maybe baking the other’s favorite treat, a sweet note, a favorite shared activity, giving up control of the tv, etc. It doesn’t have to cost money and it doesn’t have to be anything big. The parents and I got involved too encouraging each other and it was an amazing uplifting month for all of us! You could even start with a week and build from there. You have to get them to make it their own though because forced restitution doesn’t work out well.

  2. I only have one kid so I’m not sure how to deal with it yet. But I know my younger brother and I always fought when we were kids. I can even remember pointing a knife at him. I was so young back then. But now we are closer than ever.

  3. Sibling rivalry can get really bad, I remember going at it with my sisters relentlessly and ruthlessly. I don’t know how my mom handled it with us. Considering how close they’ve always been, I’m hopeful that it will self resolve and ultimately end with love and laughter

  4. Hahaha, who is going to protect them from each other? Fantastic question! I ask myself that one about my two all the time!

  5. I am one of five siblings in my immediate family, with a half sister and two step siblings. Eight kids makes for lots of sibling rivalry!! There’s about four years’ age difference on average between each kid, and so the sibling rivalry has always been interesting to watch between the generations. As “the baby”, my older sister and I fought like mad when we were younger. Once I turned 18 (she was 22), we became best friends. But I would be lying if I said the years 10 through 17 were dreamy…

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