TV’s Modern Family Shows Us Sibling Rivalry

NPR sibling series ,last holiday ,spotlighted ABC’s Modern Family . This extended –family sitcom is -fueled-by-sibling-fodder with an adult sibling relationship between Claire and Mitchell, full have scraped nerves and half healed wounds, which grown-up siblings tend to carry around from childhood.

In Modern Family, now in its third season, Claire is a sibling with three kids while her brother Mitchell is a gay married man who just adopted a baby. The writer of the show told NPR’s Renee Montagne “What makes siblings so rich for television, is the fact that siblings can be very different, but they’re stuck together.” Writers for sibling TV sitcoms can create characters that are really at odds, with wildly different personalities, jealousies and fierce competitions

“Modern Family” mirrors the real sibling relationship, showing how old childhood baggage get carried forward into adult years.  Sibling rivalry can last until midlife and longer.  Mitchell admits to Claire that he’s been upset at her for 20 years for leaving their figure skating duo “Fire and Nice” right before a championship meet. (By the end of the episode, they’re acting out their old skating routine in a parking lot.

This festive season, if you are Cain and Abel rather than the cast of Father Know Best, try forgiveness as the holiday dessert with your family.


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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