Sunday, July 02, 2006

Fighting siblings

The current Time magazine reports:
( -- From the time they are born, our brothers and sisters are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and cautionary tales.

They are our scolds, protectors, goads, tormenters, playmates, counselors, sources of envy, objects of pride.

They teach us how to resolve conflicts, and how not to; how to conduct friendships and when to walk away from them. Sisters teach brothers about the mysteries of girls; brothers teach sisters about the puzzle of boys. ...

Why childhood fights between siblings can be good

Laurie Kramer, professor of applied family studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has found that on average, sibs between 3 and 7 years old engage in some kind of conflict 3.5 times per hour. Kids in the 2-to-4 age group top out at 6.3 -- or more than one clash every 10 minutes, according to a Canadian study. ...

"Siblings have a socializing effect on one another," says psychologist Daniel Shaw of the University of Pittsburgh. "When you tease out all the other variables, it's the play styles that make the difference. Unlike a relationship with friends, you're stuck with your sibs. You learn to negotiate things day to day." It's that permanence, researchers believe, that makes siblings so valuable a rehearsal tool for later life.
It says that siblings have a huge influence on each other. Both good and bad. Fighting can be good, even tho a lot of parents try to stop the fights.

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