Sibling Rivalry After Divorce: Why Does it Intensify?
Sibling rivalry after divorce can get really intense. Why is this? Why does conflict and fighting and competition between siblings get so fierce after divorce?
Well, for one thing, divorce can leave children feeling upset, scared, resentful and depressed and so they act out and turn it on each other.
Sibling rivalry after divorce gets more vicious because kids sometimes feel out of place, unsure and isolated when the stability of their family lives gives way to divorce.
Additionally, they can feel stressed by warring parents, and may feel forced to take sides often even feeling (or being) pitted against each other and against one parent. They can even blame the other (consciously or subconsciouly) for the break up of the family- depending on what is going on within the dynamics of this family – and this results in more verbal and physical conflicts.
Sometimes, sibling rivaly after divorce is a result of kids feeling straight up jealous of one another. Why? Because some parents openly play favoritism and this can be very destructive to sibling relations. Playing favorites with the children, especially after a divorce, can be especially cruel and uncalled for and parents should avoid having a blind spot with this issue as it can have long lasting repercussions on the children’s relationship with each other.
Helping children communicate in a cooperative and respectful way will mean that parents themselves have to model good behavior between them. Parents who are warring with each other cannot expect the children to know the best practices of how to interact among them.
Understand that children often fight for their parents attention and after divorce, that need to be seen and noticed by a parent can become more urgent especially when the children only have one parent at a time at their disposal. Parental sensitivity will be absolutely crucial so that the children all feel that they are seen, heard and loved.
On the other hand, playing referee to warring kid factions in the home on a daily basis can become exhausting when you are dealing with a recent divorce. That is why family counseling may also become necessary to help everyone keep some perspective.