For some of you, it’s school holiday time. Which means big brother or sister are home and on a much-needed break. Although we relish these breaks, sometimes they can be a little challenging. All the ‘together time’ can sometimes be a bit too much.

I remember many days when my kids were young and the school holidays came around. Our house was full of fun, hilarity, tomfoolery and shenanigans. Trust me, with three boys and my sweet Anna competing for almost anything; there was always a fair dose of sibling rivalry happening at any given moment.

Sibling Rivalry is one of the parenting jobs that end up taking up much of our time. Often, as a parent, I think we can feel more like a referee and should maybe take up a job at Athlete’s Foot so we can at least wear the correct uniform. I recall that some days felt like I was forever mediating arguments or pulling one child off of another. I’m sure you can relate. It’s exhausting (to say the least) and can cause stress and wreak havoc on our nervous systems. Thankfully, with summer trying to creep in, this beautiful weather helps and we can ultimately yell, ‘TAKE IT OUTSIDE AND GO CHASE YOURSELF!’

Having walked through sibling rivalry in my life with my brother and sister, and being a mother of four and a grandmother now, I have the unique perspective of hindsight. I find it interesting that we learn so much in hindsight. I have a young friend who says, ‘We live life going forward, but we understand it backwards,’ Isn’t that the truth.

Well, when it comes to the angst, frustration and the stress that sibling rivalry can cause, allow me to put your mind at ease and perhaps give you permission to pour yourself a cuppa, put your feet up and let the dramatic moments unfold because — guess what? As it turns out, sibling rivalry is a GOOD THING!

According to a Cambridge University study, it appears that our kids are benefiting from the engagement they are having with their siblings.

I encourage you to click on the image above to read the article. Find peace knowing that the article goes on to say:

‘One of the most striking conclusions concerns siblings, who researchers found can often have a positive effect on a child’s early development, even in cases where the relationship is less than cordial.’

I thought it might help to mention a few siblings that we know of: Liam and Chris Hemsworth – at first, their career was neck and neck and then Chris became known as one of the most attractive men alive. That could make for some interesting conversations around the family dinner table. There is Julia Roberts and her brother, Eric Roberts. And, could you imagine being Solange Knowles, the sister of Beyonce – that’s a big one! Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, James and Dave Franco, Luke and Owen Wilson, Venus and Serena Williams who have been known to fight on the court but off court remain good friends.

Of course, these are Hollywood names we are talking about but interesting, indeed. Then, take a look into our own family dynamics and add the weight the Cambridge study gives. Apparently, our siblings and the siblings of our children aren’t there only to annoy or cause problems. They are, in fact, benefitting each one of us along the way. Who would have guessed?

So, the next time it all breaks loose in your home, try and remember that this is good and that in and through this your kids are developing much-needed skills that will assist them in their futures. Siblings are our learning ground, with every word and action we teach one another, hopefully, to be the best versions of ourselves we are meant to be.

And, if it’s all too much….. Send them to the neighbours 🙂

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Much love,