Brotherly Love: Steps to Solving Sibling Rivalry

Cassie is a 16 – year old from Los Angeles, CA.  She enjoys acting, playing guitar and spending time with her younger brothers. Her favorite subject is English because she wants to be a writer.

Brotherly Love, Sibling Rivalry, sibling bond,

“Hey I called shotgun!”

“No you didn’t!”

“Yes I did!”

“No you didn’t!”

And they continue, bickering and bickering until you, or another adult is forced to step in.  Whether it’s an argument over who gets to ride shotgun in the minivan or whose turn it is to do the dishes, siblings will almost always find themselves clashing heads with a thought and squabbling over the smallest things.  No matter how small or how large the age difference is, siblings will naturally find reasons to quarrel amongst each other.

Here are four simple tips to encourage sibling camaraderie:

1. Encourage siblings to support each other’s hobbies

If you are struggling with trying to strengthen the relationship between your athletic son and your drama queen daughter, try to encourage the two to support each other’s activities.  Motivate your daughter to cheer on her brother at his football games.  Influence your son to watch one of his sister’s plays.  Spending time immersing themselves in the other’s hobbies, the two siblings should respect and appreciate each other’s interests.

2. Motivate siblings to collaborate on school work

If your son is a few years older than your daughter, encourage him to tutor his sister with subjects she’s struggling with.  Your son will feel appreciated and your daughter will be very grateful for such assistance.

3. Start a new art project and request their help

Feng Shui the living room or re-paint the patio!  Create a new family project that will get all of your children interested and enthused about the same topic.  Spending time together working towards the same goal will most likely strengthen the relationship between siblings.

4. Grant siblings time alone, together

If your teenage daughter wants to go out on a Friday night, encourage her to take her twelve-year old brother out on a movie date before she goes out.  Although she may be reluctant at first, she will eventually learn that spending time with her brother outside of the house is a great privilege in itself.  When siblings realize that they can have fun together, they will want to spend more time together.


These four steps will not end all of the fights over who gets to ride in the front seat, or arguments about whose turn it is to do the dishes.  However, these tips will encourage siblings to support each other more and become more than good friends in and outside of the house.




Photo: Patrick from Flickr



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2 Responses to “Brotherly Love: Steps to Solving Sibling Rivalry”

  1. New Moon Girls
    July 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    At New Moon Girls, we hear all sorts of stories about siblings who get along really well, but also many who don’t. These are some great tips about how to mend sibling rivalries. We especially enjoy the idea of a family art project!

  2. rachel speal
    July 10, 2011 at 7:28 am #

    I liked the idea of doing an art project together. I imagine that if in general siblings get a chance to spend time together doing fun things, that will help improve their relationship. But I especially liked hearing it from a teen.

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