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Sibling Rivalry: The Love/hate Relationship Between Siblings

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Spending quality time with close family members including bonding experiences and sharing “on the floor” laughing moments will always be cherished. But unfortunately, not all families can undergo that pleasure. Rivalry and competition towards one another’s siblings often lead to physical and verbal altercations. Many researchers give their opinion as to why siblings fight and provide different solutions to the problem, but since science has barely touched the issue, it’s hard to exactly understand. “Research has rarely touched on when and why siblings fight, nor has there been much research from the children’s point of view” (Prochaska 1985). This is clear in the short story “Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker, where certain blessings and emotional support are in paucity, negatively affecting one of the kids. I claim that a search for self-identity also creates issues between the sibling rivalry. The main issues that create an imbalance in families within siblings are jealousy, self-identity, and emotional support.

Each parent has a restricted proportion of time, essentialness, and money to accommodate all of their children. The mother in Walker’s ‘Everyday Use’ is no extraordinary case to this standard. The mother, a committed single parent, fulfilled both the man’s and woman’s obligations of the bizarre family. She did her best to consider her two young ladies, yet Dee and Maggie clashed in both personality and desires. The essential individual perspective from the mother’s view gives a look into the internal components of the family that would not be seen otherwise. A real judgment of character and personality must be made after an extended period of time. This is the reason the observations the mother has of her daughters are acceptable. Examining her young lady, Maggie, the mother states, ‘Have you ever seen a lame animal, perhaps a dog run over by some careless person rich enough to own a car, sidle up to someone who is ignorant enough to be kind to them? That is the way my Maggie walks’ (Walker). The simile and rhetorical question shown by the mother exhibits Maggie in another light of pity. Maggie is delineated as a scarred, simple girl who is routinely walked on and taken for granted. The compassion felt towards Maggie contrasts from the depiction of Dee who is said to be done up with ‘A dress so loud it hurt my eyes… It (the hair) is as black as night and around the edges are two long pigtails that rope about like small lizards disappearing behind her ears’ (Walker). Also using a simile, the true nature of Dee is revealed. The unpalatable, misdirecting, spoiled attitude of this young lady is emphasized by the portrayal of the dress. A rivalry between the siblings could have generated from aspects in personality alone, yet even the mother could see that the real scorn began from heritage. Dee was always focused on material wealth. ‘Dee wanted nice things. A yellow organdy dress to wear to her graduation from high school; black pumps to match a green suit she’s made from an old suit somebody gave me. She was determined to stare down any disaster in her efforts’ (Walker). Dee received everything including beauty, knowledge, and even most of the money. Dee abhorred Maggie if she anytime tried to steal anything. Since the mother was poor, there was an insufficiency to please both children with all that they required. Dee left for school with money raised by her mother and the church. Dee returned years later going by the name of “Wangero” with a totally changed perspective on inheritance. Wangero now realized the significance in the household objects and wanted them for herself. When the mother saw Wangero ravaging everything with great worth, Mama was forced to stop her. Right when told she couldn’t keep the quilts, Dee ‘gasped like a bee had stung her’ and yelled, ‘Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!’.The simile to the bee sting makes a sentiment of physical torment, or disappointment, felt when denied the quilts. With obliged resources, the mother was constrained to pick which young lady to provide with what. Dee and Maggie were constantly competing for whatever their mother brought to the table, paying little mind to whether they didn’t by and large exhibit it clearly. Finally, Dee got for all intents and purposes most of the material wealth while Maggie received skills, for instance, sewing, and emotional support.

Sibling Rivalry is one thing that keeps siblings close together. But, it does bring a sense of jealousy into the equation. Envy can cause sibling competition when a youngster may feel that they are not getting equivalent measures of parental consideration. While usually obvious that a parent might be here and there more like one of their youngsters than another, it is essential for a parent to ensure that the majority of their kids feel adored, and get the consideration that they need. Additionally, proximity in age can also fuel the problem. If both children are very close in age, a parent will need to give the same attention to the other, which provides the opportunity to notice small differences in attention. “Sibling rivalry can also be caused by proximity in age”. Family rivalry won’t dissipate into thin air; however showing youngsters the ropes of equalization smooths sibling contention’s effect on connections, transforming siblings and sisters into deeply rooted companions.

In conclusion, the main issues that create an imbalance in families within siblings are jealousy, self-identity, and emotional support. Sibling rivalry is given to anyone who is fortunate to have a brother or sister. Rivalry for wealth and contrasting identities are formulas for quarrels. Furthermore, every individual’s scan for character and the slip-ups they make while discovering their identity additionally offer rise to conflict between siblings. However you view the situation, siblings will battle, they will have rough patches, but at the end of the day, they are still family.

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Sibling Rivalry: The Love/hate Relationship Between Siblings. (2021, December 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 22, 2022, from
“Sibling Rivalry: The Love/hate Relationship Between Siblings.” GradesFixer, 16 Dec. 2021,
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