Is There Sibling Violence in Your Family?

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”

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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.
This entry was posted in adult sibling rivalry, brother, Go- Aound Technique, Sibling Book Club, sibling rivalry, young siblings and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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