Sibling Rivalry Essay

1398 Words 6 Pages
Register to read the introduction… It is natural to be envious of a brother or sister who seems to get all the attention" (Cohen, 75-76). Feelings of jealousy and favoritism can stand in the way of close sibling relationships (76).
For siblings to love each other, they have to feel that they are loved equally by their parents. Otherwise there is deep resentment on the part of the one who feels less loved, and gloating on the part of the favored one. Siblings then feel ill at ease with each other and quarrels are apt to erupt at the slightest provocation (13).
Sometime in the early years siblings have to accept the impossibility of obtaining the exclusive love of a parent. A parent may feel more love for one child than for another, but there is always some degree of love bestowed on each sibling (5). "As siblings realize and accept this, their hostility eases and they are able to acknowledge that each of them will be loved for his or her own qualities and achievements. They do not need to live in constant anger, feeling unloved"
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"If you're the oldest, your parent learned how to parent on you. You're the first to experience everything, including discipline" (Bode, 49). The first-born child is disciplined more harshly then any children who come later. Still, this child starts out in the spotlight, they are a parent's dream for the future. "That means pressure on you to succeed, and first-borns do seem to end up more often in leadership positions" (49). First-borns grow up wanting approval, admiration and respect. They can demand obedience from those who they feel are inferior to them. "What you have to cope with in terms of birth order is the loss of the attention you've gotten when the second-born arrives" (50). The middle child is always trying to out-perform the first-born. They constantly feel inadequate. To make up for that, middle children become realistic perfectionists (50-51). "While they are considered the middle child, they have the freedom to go about their business without anybody paying much attention to them. They have an older sibling to rely on, and they are the competent one in relation to those who follow" (52). Middle children are also picked on by the older ones and get into trouble for picking on the younger ones. There will always be older children who are more capable than the middle sibling, and younger children competing for attention

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