How to handle sibling rivalry to create strong and loving bonds
By Linda Blair
Written by a clinical psychologist, Siblings gives parents the tools to create positive sibling relationships. Highly practical, and based solidly in clinical research, it not only describes the issues which parents may face but gives them methods and specific strategies to build lasting bonds.
Ever feel like a referee in a long-running civil war? Sibling rivalry is not some sort of evolutionary mistake, says clinical psychologist Linda Blair. Instead of imagining a battlefield, parents need to see sibling relationships as the best natural training ground for healthy social, emotional and cognitive development.
In her fifth book Siblings, Telegraph columnist Linda turns sibling rivalry on its head offering parents a practical positive approach to bringing up children and teenagers and understanding the relationships into adulthood.
With 35 years of experience working with families and using solid clinical research, Linda says instead of trying to eliminate the natural rivalry or strive for an unrealistic idyll of a calm and a non-confrontational household, parents should use sibling interactions to build emotional intelligence and good social skills. Instead of worrying about the arguments, children can be helped to learn to solve the issues that arise.
Our relationships with our siblings are almost certainly the most enduring relationships any of us will ever have. Throughout our lifetimes friends and partners may come and go but no one can divorce a sibling.
Sibling relationships are forged and developed during the formative years, the time when the brain is developing rapidly, so their effect is profound and becomes deeply embedded in our personality. Such long-lasting, intimate relationships deserve close attention, and they should be used to advantage. They certainly shouldn’t be regarded as something to fear, minimise or avoid.
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