Could fighting with siblings help with social development?

Could fighting with siblings help with social development?

Who knew that the bickering between your kids could be aiding them in their development?

Angry elder brother screaming at his younger sister
Angry elder brother screaming at his younger sister/iStock/ajijchan

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When you think about siblings, the contention among most parents is how to get their kids to get along with each other. 

Sibling fights can be difficult to deal with as a parent. For the most part, parents will do anything possible to get their kids to stop fighting, while some parents understand that sibling rivalry is a natural part of growing up. 

However, it doesn't take away from the fact that it can be difficult to see your kids going at each other's throats at least once or twice a day, if not more. 

However, it seems that researchers have made an interesting discovery about sibling fights. 

"Research from the University of Cambridge's Centre for Family Research suggests that healthy sibling rivalry can help your mental and emotional development as well as social skills." (Indy100)

A five-year research study that began in 2020 set out to analyse the cognitive and social development of children between the ages of two and six years old - and the results are quite intriguing. 

"140 children took part in the project and results showed that having a sibling can have a positive impact on a person's early development, even if the relationship is a negative one." (Indy100)

Although the research was conducted some time ago, we were interested in the fact that innocent sibling rivalry was a healthy part of life. 

So, kudos to those parents who stuck to their beliefs about healthy sibling disagreements.

Even more interestingly to note though was the fact that "while mild rivalry was considered to be good, a sustained feud between two siblings over several years could lead to difficulty in relationship building and behavioural issues in later life." (Indy100)

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Image Courtesy of iStock/ajijchan

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