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What do you and your sibling(s) fight about most? Do you solve the problem on your own or get an adult involved?

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Sibling Rivalry: You vs. Them
Brother vs. Sister

Topics on
Sibling Rivalry:

You vs. Them
Attention and Approval
The Jealousy Monster
Playing Favorites
Comparison
Fair and Equal
Get Over It!
Good Rivalries
From the Mentors
It's a fact of life: if you have siblings, you usually have trouble. Many of you wrote to IML about problems you're having with brothers and sisters:

Nicole, 11, says that her brother tries to make her feel stupid, and whenever she tries to talk to him he tells her to "shut up." Even though she loves him, she can't help wishing she could have a better brother.

Ivan, 12, has three older brothers and a 10-year-old sister. While he gets along great with his brothers, he and his sister fight constantly over dumb stuff.

Chabré, 10, wonders why sisters and brothers sometimes get treated differently, even though they're about the same age.

Dustin, 8, is frustrated because he and his brother are ALWAYS fighting, and he doesn't know how to fix it.

Every family and every situation is different, but these kinds of problems are generally called "sibling rivalry." A rivalry is a competition between groups or individuals that goes on and on over time. Your school and a nearby school may have a long-standing sports rivalry. Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy have their own rivalry going on. Even though Harry always wins in the end, Draco never stops trying to get the best of him.

In the same way, it may seem like you and a brother or sister are always trying to get the best of each other, and this can make you feel jealousy, tension, or anger towards him or her. The results of these feelings can be regular fights and arguments, long periods of "the silent treatment," and, eventually, years of resentment.

Even though sibling rivalries are totally natural, they can cause big problems within your family and especially hurt your relationship with a parent. But here's the good news: there are lots of things you and your clan can do to keep the peace and deal with the issues that might be causing sibling rivalry


Printables Here's an IML Journal Page to record your experiences and thoughts about sibling rivalry, and a list of great fiction and non-fiction books on the subject. You can also print and play this topic's word search!
In the next section, we look at the two main things siblings fight each other for: Attention and Approval.
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Celebrity Sibs Quiz
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"Celebrity Sibs" Quiz!

Vote Now
What bothers you most about your bro or sis?
He or she gets
        more attention.
He or she gets
        away with
        everything.
I have to do all
        the work around
        the house.
-- From Alicia, 13

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Competition or
sibling rivalry?
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