The truth about sibling rivalry in large families



We can’t comment on it.

We can’t comment because we don’t know.

We have never had any issues at all with sibling rivalry or jealously.


Not at all.

Hand on heart.

Unless you count the arguments over who gets to hold the baby next.

Then we know a lot about that!

With all the, ‘It’s my turn!’

‘No, you already had a turn!’

‘Is it my turn to hold her yet?’

‘He held her longer than I did!’

Yep, we know that one.

Doesn’t sound like any of them resent their little brothers or sisters at all, does it?

Yet it’s funny how many expect them to.

Or who think it strange that we don’t have issues regarding jealousy or rivalry.

As if that is the norm and expected.

Funny how bad or negative behaviour is expected.  Perhaps kids just raise to our expectations, maybe?

Kids understand more than we think they do.  And they listen in on conversations to others.

Maybe putting too much emphasis on them resenting a new sibling is the problem?

Whereas if it isn’t expected for them to behave negatively toward a new sibling they won’t.

And for some reason which really does flummox me it is expected for this to be an even more common issue in larger families, where older children are supposed to resent any new additions with some real contempt.

Funny how I have never, not once, come across this from any of the large families I have communicated with over several years.

We’ve gone into how we prepare our children for a new sibling in some detail in our book Larger Family Life but thought I would ask if this assumption that jealousy is rife in large families is true.

What do you think?





5 thoughts on “The truth about sibling rivalry in large families

  1. No experience of sibling rivalry here either. We always get comments about how well our children get on.

    Do you think maybe it is because larger families tend to do lots of things together? Or maybe because the children have learnt to share bedrooms, toys etc? I don’t know. But I do know that my friends with a few children complain that their children are always fighting and mine don’t (most if the time 😉 )

  2. Yes those constant discussions about whose turn it is next to hold the baby are rife in our home at the moment. My children are all proud of each other not jealous, they always tell each other how much they love them and give each other hugs, it’s so sweet! Of course there is the odd disagreement mainly about who was responsible for messing up the bedrooms.

  3. We have the occasional squabble or playfight that goes wonky – who doesnt??!!
    They are all very proud of each other and are a family unit- unified and together- there for each other and stand ground together when confronted.
    Ther are all deeply loving towards each other and actually want another sibling so they can dislike each other else they wouldnt want more ‘competition’ would they??

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