From the perspective of a brother-sister relationship

The relationship between siblings is quite a special one; they share the same childhood, in the same home, with the same parents. Having each other’s back, sharing and keeping all the secrets. But just like every relationship, even this one has its ups and downs. Even though there is a protective, caring and an affectionate relationship between the brother and sister, yet at times there are various differences that occur within the relation, and hamper the bond. The sibling rivalry between the brother-sister relationship can be a major factor affecting the bond.

The sibling rivalry manifests even before the birth of the second child, resulting in the child to feel being neglected by the parents, being jealous of the sibling and making numerous attempts to seek the attention of the parents. Parental treatment, birth order and personality of the child majorly play role in sibling rivalry. It’s more intense when both the children are intellectually gifted. It can occur in the same gender also. 

Such rivalry usually continues throughout childhood and can be very frustrating and stressful to parents. Various reasons are found to be responsible for sibling rivalry, some of them are:

  1. In our society, we still discriminate vastly between the genders. The everyday household tasks such as cleaning, cooking, washing are generally given to the female, while the responsibility for the males is to provide monetary fund and be the pillar in supporting the family. This has an impact on the siblings at an early age, leading to a perception of supremacy associated with masculinity.
  2. The parents giving various kinds of perks and liberties to the child, such as sufficient monetary fund being saved for the education of the male child or the marriage of the girl child, resulting into jealousy or anger towards the opposite gender sibling. At times even extra allowances such as freedom to travel alone even during the odd hours can create differences.
  3. Even though female might have the same level of competence as the male child, the stigma created by the society puts them in a very disadvantageous situation. Most Indian families have the belief that females do not have an exposure to the real world or are not equally intelligent, thus depriving them of the right to speak during the family decision making process.
  4. Even comparing the two siblings by the parents has a similar harmful consequence, including the competition to succeed and prove their self-worth. Competition and Comparison between the siblings can occur when they see that the child with more marks, positive behaviour, and more obedience is appreciated by the parents.
  5. At times, the differences between the siblings are also shaped after the marriage of either or both the siblings. The addition of a new member results in the creation of the division of attention and love, creating more the grievances between the siblings.

At times, the need for parental attention by the sibling is so much that they pick up fights with the sibling. It becomes important for the parents to help their child develop in a way that they maturely handle the shared parental attention as well as get along with each other.