Loved this article on recent research from Dr. Laurie Kramer. Kramer is a well-respected, world leading expert on sibling behavior. For over 20 years she has studied sibling pairs from infancy through adulthood. Her studies suggest that contrary to popular belief, siblings are not fighting over parental attention, rather they are simply fighting as a fact of family life. And further suggests that many of the parenting guides that parents turn to suggest separating siblings during a fight, when in fact, it is more advisable to keep them together and focus more on conflict prevention. Kramer says that time spent together is important. And what’s more important is the amount of play time spent together compared to the amount of time spent fighting. In fact, if siblings spend more time together engaged in play, as a percentage, than fighting, they have a very good chance for having a positive sibling relationship in the future. She also believes that the relationships that older siblings had with friends prior to the arrival of a new sibling is the template for the relationship with a younger sibling.
Interesting Facts from Dr. Kramer
- Siblings are not fighting for parental attention!
- Sibling play time is the more important predictor of the quality of future sibling relationships.
- The relationships that older siblings had with friends is key to relationships with younger siblings.
- On average, young siblings argue or fight 3.5 times an hour, which adds up to ten minutes of every hour.
- In observational studies, siblings make 700 percent more negative and controlling statements to each other than they do to friends.
Read the entire article from ABC.com