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Recently it has been realised that siblings have an enormous impact on one another not just through early childhood but long into the lifespan. Previously it was thought that parents were the main influence in early childhood changing to peers for early adulthood and old age, only now has the full impact of siblings influences been realised.
The sibling relationship is usually one of the longest relationships an individual will experience through a whole lifetime, this is apparent even through half or step siblings (Cicirelli, 1995). A sibling relationship is ascribed, Siblings cant choose each other and because of this fights, disagreements and arguments can normally be overcome where friendships may not be overcome, which relates back to the folk saying "you cant choose your family". Sibling relationships overcome most blocks that destroy other relationships when presented with the same blocks. Blocks such as age, size, intelligence social skills, achievements and so on would generally halt most relationships before they even get a chance to start, but siblings with most or all of these differences still manage to relate on an equal level. Siblings also have a common history of shared and non-shared experiences again strengthening the bond between them.
Bill Cosby once said, "You aren't really a parent until you've had your second child." Parents of one child won't really understand this. Parents of two or more children will relate to this statement immediately. He was referring to the seemingly constant bickering and fighting between brothers and sisters.
Adler (1959) believes that birth order is the most important factor in sibling relationships. His theory was accompanied by empirical literature on birth order and sibling structure effects on siblings' intellectual and personality. Studies such as these are still going on today. Minuchin (1974) believed that rivalry between siblings was genetic. It has been argued that sibling rivalry can be a valuable childhood experience, siblings can learn to take other perspective's, ague their positions, negotiate to settle differences and many other skills needed in future life experiences.
There has always been debate about the age gape between siblings and their influence on the relationship between them. Early theorist believed that two years was too much of a gap between siblings, as sibling rivalry was inevitable. They believed that with such a big gap the rivalry can start three ways, the first child could receive things as he progresses through his development and the other younger sibling would feel left out. They both could get everything at the same time, making the older sibling frustrated as he never got that when he was that age, and finally the first sibling could feel more left out as the younger sibling gets more attention.
Imagine if you were placed in this situation, one day your husband announces to you, "honey,. I've got wonderful news for you. Next week I'm planning to bring home someone else to live with us. It'll be a woman; she'll be a bit younger than you, perhaps a little bit more attractive. In any event, she'll seem that way because I plan to spend more time with her than with you; nevertheless, we're all going to continue to be a very happy family. You'll get used to her presence and I very much want you not only to love her but to show her and I how much you love her". This most people would find intolerable, so why do we expect our two-year old too accept it.
The only toddler who wouldn't be extremely jealous and unhappy about the presence of a nine-or ten-month-old sibling would be one who had very little to lose, the only kind of two-year-old with very little to lose would be one who had not formed a basic attachment to his own mother. In a sense, then, the resentment of a two-year-old toward a yo
Quotes talked about in this paper
- "It is certain that in this share of my mothers heart I got no more than the minimum I was owed, and the prose of the eldest son was always preferred to the poetry of the younger" (The family in the western world, P.171) Aid
- Prevention Judith Dunn offers ...
- Adam looked puzzled for a minute and then said, "Yeah, I am mad at him."
- Bill Cosby once said, "You aren't really a parent until you've had your second child."
- Linda said, "Sounds like you're pretty mad at Ben."
Sports referenced in this essay
Names mentioned in this research material
Judith Dunn, the driving destructive force, Adam, Bill Cosby, Cicirelli, Dr Kidd On, Theorists Adler, Dr Kidd, Judith goes, Minuchin, Ben, Linda,
Locations talked about in this essay
Keywords mentioned in this essay
sibling rivalry, sibling relationships, age gap, Barbara Wallace, early childhood, one child, birth order, parent, skills, old age, Judith, early adulthood, next time, experiences, just one, a little bit, early stages, Bill Cosby, family life, social skills, happy family, first degree, Lateral thinking, to love, big impact, mom and dad, taxi driver, wet nurse, bad behaviour, south france, more time, western world, the rivalry, Kidd, adult, theory, achievements, gender, toys, thoughts, gape, conditions, explains, unappreciated, individual, injustices, doting, Afters, prejudices, Minuchin,