Sibling Rivalry: Is It a Damaging Experience for Your Children?

I grew up with two siblings and we were always very close. We never really had an issue getting along, and did almost everything together. We have all remained close and are best friends to this day. I would say that we had a healthy sibling rivalry where we pushed each other be the best version of ourselves that we could. However we never competed against each other with hopes of embarrassing or obliterating the others. It was always a healthy and fun competition, whether it was in sports, school, or whatever else.

It recently occurred to me that some people don’t have as healthy a relationship as I do with my siblings. Some people feel quite negatively about their siblings for that matter, and are not even remotely friends with them. I wondered what their sibling rivalries were like growing up, and realized their rivalries were probably the exact opposite of what mine were like. They wanted to out-do their siblings because they didn’t like them, not because it was a healthy competition amongst friends.

My attention was drawn to sibling rivalries through a post I read called “Is Sibling Rivalry Damaging to Your Kids’ Health?” My opinion of the question asked by this post is that there isn’t a black and white answer. There are certainly some sibling rivalries like my own that ended up being a positive experience, but there are also sibling rivalries that are really negative. I think that the relationship a person has with their siblings is what makes the rivalry a positive or a negative thing. So I don’t think that sibling rivalries are damaging to a child’s health in all cases.