It turns out that these maternal behaviors shape sibling connections in significant and very lasting ways. Research shows that even with a loving mother, a child is quick to spot and react to favoritism; in fact, the pain of recognition actually outweighs the amount of love directly expressed to her or him. With a mother who makes favoritism a part of daily life, the effects are deep and significant. My mother is and has always been highly critical of me and Julie just loves to get in on the action. Too toxic. Caretaking in and of itself is stressful but perceived favoritism appears to be the tipping point.
Dr. Bob Wright | October 22, 2019
Destructive Family Dynamics
Sibling rivalry isn't always outgrown in childhood, however; in some cases, it only intensifies as time passes. While people often think of sibling rivalry as a childhood phenomenon, adult sibling rivalry is a common phenomenon in which adult siblings struggle to get along, argue, or are even estranged from one another. One study found that more than a third of adults between 18 and 65 had apathetic or hostile relationships with their siblings. Research has shown that parenting plays a significant role in contributing to adult sibling rivalry. While parents may strive to remain unbiased when it comes to their kids, favoritism is actually very common. So if you feel that you're less favored by your parents and that pain is affecting you in adulthood, you're not alone.
Factors Affecting Sibling Bonds
Social scientists and popular culture give a lot of attention to parent-child and marital relationships, but it is sibling bonds that actually last the longest — longer than our connections with parents, spouses, and friends — while shaping our identity in powerful ways. Siblings are our history-keepers; they know the entire arc of our life story from childhood to adulthood. They bear witness to our achievements and milestones and share similar family experiences. These relationships are precious sources of love, understanding, and wisdom. Here's how they can go wrong , but also how to maintain and nurture them.
By Judith Woods for MailOnline. Updated: BST, 3 July While competition between siblings may be mostly harmless during childhood, it can bring out the absolute worst in us if it develops into envy in later life, as Judith Woods reports. Sibling rivalry. What could be more natural, more healthy? The very phrase conjures up nostalgic images of ruddy-cheeked boys, straining to beat each other at tree climbing or Ludo. Or little girls, eyes shining with eagerness to outsmart one another in the classroom, guilelessly striving to please their parents at home.