James Dean is Model for Sibling Rivalry

Steinbeck’s East of Eden is the mother of all sibling rivalry books. Many of you know this book as James Dean’s  first film. A template for all sibling rivalry and violence, Steinbeck reflected the bible’s story of Cain and Abel. When God liked Abel’s gift more than Cain’s, Cain became an irate sibling . He killed Abel. In East of Eden brother Charles has a sibling “ I Hate You story “ because his father likes brother Adam’s gift of a strap puppy more than Charles expensive German knife. So Charles beats Adam to a pulp.

As a parent Adam repeats his father’s favoritism of siblings leading to the same horrible end.  Cal, Adam’s son, played by James Dean in the film, sees that his father Adam likes his brother Aaron’s birthday gift of more than his own. Like Cain, Cal causes his brother’s death in WW I.

If you are a parent and want to parent young children to escape sibling rivalry

Don’t compare siblings- like who got the first tooth and who walked first

Don’t favor one child- like the youngest or the oldest

If there is any violence between siblings- intervene immediately


About momlovesyoubest

Cathy Cress holds an MSW in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. Her new book Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships , New Horizon Press, was published October 2010. Cress’s book , Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, Jones and Bartlett, is the bible of geriatric care management and is out out in a third edition in February 2011 .Her book Care Managers, Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett,2008 is one of the few major books on the aging family. Ms. Cress is the founder of GCM Consult ,working with small and national who want to add or launch GCM businesses. She is on the faculty at the University of Florida in their on line master’s in geriatric care management -GCM . She has taught geriatric care management at San Francisco State University , UC Berkeley and teaches at Cabrillo College and San Mateo College. She was founder and director of Cresscare, a GCM business, for 25 years.
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