Do you have sibling violence in your family? From Cain and Able- the first murder in the bible— to Steinbeck’s East of Eden where brother Cal beats twin brother Aaron because he believes their father loves him more- siblings violence in literature forms a web of warning for the here and now.
According to a study published in the Journal of Family Issues sibling violence is rampant- especially among boys. The study was done on high school seniors. 70% of the young adults in the study had committed one violent act against a sibling. This included throwing, pushing shoving hitting or slapping. The theory that violence is allowed by men in our society is supported by this study. Violence between brothers was the most common among siblings. In fact the rates of injuries with weapons was highest with brothers.
What are the lessons here for parents of siblings- especially boys?
In the study, comparing or holding one child up to a good standard and comparing them to another sibling, led to resentment and violence among siblings
The study found that spousal abuse and arguments between parents increased violence among siblings. Sibling abuse was greatly increased by witnessing arguments between parents. Being involved in verbal conflicts with parents increased sibling abuse.
So as you are what you eat- your children are what you model. Secondly parents yelling at siblings increased the frequency of sibling arguments. So instead of yelling or hitting siblings, you should try approaches like the go around technique where each child and parent can express their anger in a mini family meeting, Talking, objectively and quietly to siblings who argue or hit – is better approach to preventing violence with siblings, especially boys. Intervening immediately is also a critical way to prevent future sibling violence and sibling “ I hate you” stories”