Fighting With Your Sibling Can Make You a Better Person When You Get Older
If you have siblings, chances are you’ve butted heads with them. Your parents might have interfered and made you hug it out to not argue anymore. But a study by the University of Cambridge found that all those years of you fighting with your siblings when you were little could have actually helped you to become better people as adults.
We at Bright Side are going through the findings of the study to understand how being at odds with your siblings can create a better adult life for the both of you.
Children benefit from fighting with their siblings.
When younger children fight with their older brothers and sisters, they learn about communication and are exposed to emotionally rich language, according to a study done by the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Family Research. Arguments can be upsetting but that’s how little children learn to control their emotions and how to affect other people’s emotions. Since siblings come from the same background, they’re likely to keep score which actually helps to motivate them to achieve more.
Named “Toddlers Up,” the research was done on 140 children at the age of 2 years old. Researchers followed these children for 5 years and focused on groups of low-income and teen parent families. The results showed that 3-year-old younger siblings who didn’t talk as well as their elder siblings had a rapid increase in their social understanding by age 6 when there was sibling rivalry.
What parents should do
This study should at least give comfort to parents with smaller kids who like to fight. As it turns out, they don’t have to jump in every time their children declare war on each other. While parents shouldn’t stifle sibling rivalry, that isn’t to say that parents should have a hands-off approach to parenting. The study also found that the more frequently parents have quality conversations about thoughts and emotions with their children, the more it helps their children’s social understanding to grow.
However, out of hand sibling rivalry is poisonous.
That being said, too much sibling rivalry can have a negative impact. Constant violence is a sign that instead of the fights teaching them to prepare for important relationships when they are older, they're actually learning to be aggressive and bully others. The study also focused mainly on low-income and teen-parent families, which means it might not be applicable to everyone. Dorothy Rowe, a psychologist, believes that parents should intervene in disagreements and say things like, "Now girls, we share in this family, we don't fight," so that children will learn to get along well with other people.
Do you think your arguments with your brothers or sisters pushed you to be better later down the road? Don't forget to tag them to tell them how you've made them better people too!