The Psychology Behind Sibling Rivalry

Jessica Grose:

My 4- and 8-year-old are closer now than they were before the pandemic — I hear the sounds of giggling wafting from their bedroom several times a night. But the more time my girls spend together, the more they fight, too.

The most common battlegrounds for my kids are perceived injustices and jockeying for position. The most absurd instance of the latter was when we were waiting to get flu shots this past fall. The girls got into a brawl over who received the first shot. My older daughter “won” that argument, but it was only as she was walking toward the pharmacist’s door that she realized a shot was not actually a prize.