Categorized | For the love of books

Sibling relationships more important than rivalry

Posted on 01 October 2011 by Alice

How much do you value your relationships with your brothers and sisters?

According to author Jeffrey Kluger, siblings are vastly underrated: they provide our earliest lessons on how to conduct friendships and how to resolve conflicts. They serve as both role models and as cautionary tales. And they’re fixtures in our lives longer than our parents, spouses and children, he explains in The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, published by Riverhead Books.


Brothers & Sisters

No rivalry, just support

The book goes into research on who was born first (I’m number 3) favouritism, squabbling, multiple-siblings amongst other things outlined in a San Francisco Chronicle article on the work:

On the hot topic of birth order, Kluger cites findings that firstborns taking personality tests tend to show a higher degree of responsibility and follow-through, while later-borns score higher on the ability to get along with people. A survey of CEOs showed that firstborns were disproportionately represented, while another study found that when later-borns become CEOs, they’re more willing to take risks and be creative.

This book is both enjoyable and educational — a worthwhile read for anyone interested in human relationships.

Do you get on with your siblings, or is it more a case of who can suggest the next topic for rivalry? I can’t remember competing with my older brother and sister or younger sister (I’m one of 4) when I was younger, or even now. Although we do compare notes on whose website is up and running, whose Facebook page might be more prevalent and whose turn it is to bring up uncomfortable topics with our parents…

And then, of course, there’s always the question over who has a house, mortgage, children, is married, has a new job, a new car, etc. etc.

Perhaps the age of sibling rivalry isn’t dead after all.


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