Sibling Rivalry

“I get annoyed with the way she does things or says things,” shares Gabriela Garza when she talks about her sister.  “We fight about clothes and money, or even plans we’ve made like if we want to go to a movie or to a restaurant.”

Sound familiar? This kind of behavior is common among brothers and sisters. Siblings live together for most of their lives and living in close proximity will eventually lead to rivalry. It is healthy to fight. It builds not only character, but also strengthens the bond between siblings. Although it may seem stressful and annoying at times, it is important to always keep each other’s feelings in check.

When Lindsay and Noel play X-box together, it usually ends in an argument. They each want to play something different. When they disagree, that’s when the problems begin. Lindsay is the younger sibling and always ends up losing. “I feel annoyed and frustrated and I feel like getting my brother back,” said 13-year-old Lindsay Sanchez.

Arguments can often lead to fights, but it’s important to hold yourself back and be a better person by talking through the problem. The easiest way to deal with this is to talk about it. Siblings should know how each other feel all the time. To ensure a happy life together, it’s okay to say things like “that hurts my feelings” or “I would never do that to you” or “please stop that.” Just remember to be respectful. It leads to a positive response. If you are full of emotion, it’s okay to step away from the situation to let things cool off. Just make sure your brother or sister knows and understands how they made you feel.

Lindsay’s older brother Noel Sanchez is 15-years-old and is far too familiar with this. “I get annoyed when we argue and I go to my room to be alone. Later we talk about it and get over it and we play video games again.” It is important to steer away from physical fights with siblings. Fighting never fixes the situation and it hurts family bonds. Always talk about it or involve a parent.

According to, “communication lays a solid and important foundational element and nature to the family relationships and unit. It strengthens it and deepens the bonds, by doing so family’s bond together and work through things as a family by caring and supporting each other.” This means that when brothers and sisters fight, you may want to  let your parents help you try and resolve the issue. Don’t ignore it or let it boil over.  They love you both equally and will help you fix the situation. Therefore, notifying a parent will help everyone be happy and parents will keep a lookout for the both of you.

You may feel like it is hard to get along with your brother or sister now, but as you grow older you will probably get even closer.  Another important thing to remember is that sibling rivalry for the most part is a situation that goes away with maturity. Usually around the age of 18 those problems may start to diminish as the early teen will begin to flourish into a young adult.

“As kids we fought about everything,” says Gabriela. “We would compete over our parent’s attention, and we’d try to outdo each other. As you mature you learn to let things go, especially the little things. I know family is super important and I’m thankful to have my sister in my life even though we’ve put each other through some hard times. It’s only made our relationships that much stronger. “

Siblings look alike, act similar and will remain a part of each other for the rest of their lives. Gabriela Garza is a 22-year-old student at University of Memphis.  She and her sister Adriana have become closer as they’ve gotten older. “My happiest moments with my sister were when we moved out together, and we got to know each other all over again as adults. We realized that no matter what would happen we’d always have each other.”

Sometimes siblings will argue when they’re older, but it rarely turns physical and forgiveness is usually around the corner. “Even though she hurts me at times, I know it’s not intentional and I know it won’t last forever because the love I have for her allows me to forgive her always…No matter what, she is my blood and I know for a fact that she will always be there for me.”

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