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Setting Boundaries To Deal With Sibling Rivalry

Setting Boundaries To Deal With Sibling Rivalry
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Relationships are critical to manage. The foundation of any relationship is based on adjustment skills, coping strategies, and the setting of acceptable boundaries between two individuals.

In every relationship, boundaries are needed to function properly. Individuals have a protective shield around them which can be described as a comfort zone.

As a person grows older and the extra level gets added to their comfort zone. These levels can be personal, emotional, and social. Intruding each level can be a hindrance to the privacy of a person. Due to this reason, it is desirable to establish boundaries in relationships.

Therefore, it is vital to know the real definition of boundaries because people often mistake it as hiding personal details or cheating one another in relationships.

So it is advisable to decode the meaning of boundaries.

Defining Boundaries

Boundaries are imposing restrictions on the relationship between two people. It aims to maintain a mutual space between the people to run a healthy relationship because one needs to have a certain boundary in every bonding.

Well established boundaries eradicate emotional and mental turmoils between the individuals. It is noticed that adequate boundaries reduce stress and anxiety related to personal issues, romantic relationships, and financial difficulties.

Boundaries are also essential in a family environment. There have to be proper boundaries between parents, parents-children, and siblings.

If a family consists of parents with more than one child then it is obvious that there will be a sibling rivalry during the developmental stages of life.

Let’s find out the relationship pattern among siblings and how it turns into sibling rivalry.

Sibling rivalry- What Is It?

Sibling rivalry is a tug of war or friction due to differences in opinion, choices, decisions, age among siblings in a family.

It takes the expression of vigorous physical or verbal brawls, taunts, competitiveness between siblings born out of the same biological parents, or adopted.

Since childhood, it is needed to set boundaries between siblings by making them know the meaning and its necessity in a relationship. Sometimes it is observed that resentment due to sibling rivalry results in strained interpersonal relationships in adulthood.

Lack of boundaries since childhood makes it difficult for the person to adjust with others whom they encounter in the later years of life on the personal, professional, and social domains.

To prevent this, it is required to set boundaries between siblings.

Boundaries between siblings

Boundaries between siblings are important to prevent sibling rivalries arising because of gender, jealousy, achievements, frequent fights, arguments, parent’s judgmental attitude, and bias.

Parents play a vital role in sowing seeds of sibling rivalry during the stage of childhood. It is the sole responsibility of parents to take into account both the children’s physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

Once feelings of rivalries start growing among siblings in childhood, it persists the entire journey of adulthood.

So setting boundaries is necessary to deal with sibling rivalry.

Ways to Set Boundaries to deal with Sibling Rivalries

Here are some ways to set boundaries to deal with sibling rivalry:

1. Parental awareness during childhood

Parents need to draw a line between siblings. They should give equal treatment to both siblings in terms of appreciation and penalizing.

Scolding one child in front of the other reduces self-esteem and instills fear of rejection, neglect, and humiliation.

Parents should have a non-judgmental approach while dealing with their children. Both of the children should not feel either ignored or over prioritized by their parents.

Written by Alecia Bennett

I hold a master's degree with a clinical psychology specialization. Currently pursuing school counseling courses. I have attended various programs related to mental health issues. A person who takes a keen interest in writing anything about the human mind and behavior.

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