Sibling Rivalry -- Among Brothers!

Brothers fight, they tussle, they push, they shove. Sometimes you wonder if they’ll ever get along.

Then you think fifty years ahead. Will they get along as adults? Sibling rivalry can seem like a nightmare, but a recent study offers a bit of hope for future family relationships.

A recent study states that in America, our circle of close confidants has shrunk significantly over the past two decades. Those surveyed said they have no one to discuss important issues with – in fact, the number of those without a confidant has more than doubled. Although the numbers for family and non-family confidants have both dropped, the drop in non-family ties was greater.

This study, a joint effort by Duke University sociologists and the University of Arizona, confirms what Robert D. Putnam outlines in his book, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. While the collapse of social bonds is, obviously, bad news, the fact that most family ties have remained intact is encouraging.

We all need a safety net, and your boys can be that for each other. That may be hard to imagine today, but don’t despair. Keep trying to instill respect for each other in them. Don’t let them hurt each other – physically or emotionally. Treat them equally and fairly so they don’t compete for your affection and attention.

All you do today will strengthen that safety net of brothers.
So when they push and shove and tussle – throw them a rope!

Remind them they’re brothers.


Jennifer Fink said...

The title of this post definitely caught my eye, b/c it's a problem I deal with! And so far, they're not buying the "you're brothers!" line. But deep down, I think they get it. Deep down, I think they see the connections I have with my 5 siblings, and I hope that someday they'll have similarly close relationships.

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

I know what you mean. It doesn't look like they get it, but it's seeping in.

I have often said, "I don't want anyone to hurt one of my boys -- especially another one of my boys!"

A lot of their conflict is just normal, but we have to provide the foundation and the borders so it doesn't grow into hostility and bitterness against each other.

Rita said...

It is part of raising boys; I sometimes felt so helpless triying to make it all better. The encouraging thing I can tell you is (This too shall pass).

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