In this brief guide, we will look at the question “How often do brothers fight?”, and also explore other subjects related to siblings like how often do sisters and brothers fight or what to do when brothers fight.
How often do Brothers Fight?
On average, brothers may fight fairly often, and some observational studies involving siblings have also shown that siblings say 700 percent times meaner things to their brothers or sisters than they do to their friends.
Research also indicates that not only do brothers fight often, but siblings in general also tend to fight around 3.5 times per hour, which makes up for a rather large number overall, although this applies to younger siblings rather than adolescents or adults.
Conflict between siblings is common, and if you are a parent whose boys are getting too rowdy and they keep fighting among themselves, there may be things you can do instead of feeling helpless.
For one thing, when brothers fight it may never be advisable to yell at them or do anything that feeds into the negativity further, what might help instead would be to get them apart and keep them apart for some time instead of trying to force a friendship.
Another thing one might want to do is to create a sense of loyalty in the brothers for each other, which may make it hard for the brothers to fight so often, and this may be done by giving them a constructive thing to do together when they are not fighting and are in a good mood.
If brothers are fighting too often, and it feels like they are out of control, it may be beneficial to see a professional rather than try to solve the problem at home, because sometimes conflict may be far deeper than you are thinking it is, and sometimes the problem might not be about the toys or minor things about which they seem to be fighting.
What is Sibling Rivalry?
Sometimes fights may not be just fights, they may be sibling rivalry, which is a concept that refers to the feeling of being replaced that firstborns may have when the second child is born or even when their birth is announced by the parents.
Firstborns tend to have a certain personality type and they are accustomed to being the only child in the parents’ life, which is often a huge thing to give up for a child that places all their hopes and wishes on their parents and whose entire existence is centered around the parents.
Firstborn children may be more likely to fight with their siblings over little things and it may take them some time to get over the feeling of being replaced, especially if they have been pampered a great deal before the second child came around.
In some cases, it may not progress to sibling rivalry per se, but when it does, the situation will usually not resolve on its own or even with parents’ intervention, and professional help may need to be sought depending on how extreme the situation is.
Sibling rivalry may have very specific features that separate it from normal fights between brothers or sisters, and one may answer these questions to figure out if it may be that:
- Does a child get particularly upset when the parents fuss over the baby or younger child?
- Does the child cry often about the parents not loving them?
- Does the child act too protective of their possessions or toys or even parents towards the younger child or even other children?
- Does the child engage in any attention-seeking behavior or try to do things that may not be totally right to get the parents to pay attention, even if it is negative in nature?
If these questions are answered yes more often than they are answered no, it may indicate a sibling rivalry problem, but this is an assessment that would be better left to a professional as it can also mean more serious things like oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder.
Why do brothers and sisters fight so much?
Brothers and sisters may fight so much simply because they are very comfortable with each other due to the close living conditions, and they are of around the same age or age-group, which makes it easier to lash out in a way that it doesn’t happen towards parents.
Brothers and sisters may often fight a lot well into adulthood as well, and some theorists suggest that it may be because men and women generally have different temperaments, which makes it easier for brothers and sisters to fight in a way they wouldn’t with their peers or partners.
The reason for this is often simply the closeness they share and the similarities in their upbringing, and while some brothers and sisters may fight a lot more and a lot uglier, most brothers and sisters fighting may not be something to worry about too much, especially if it’s just meaningless sniping and the brothers and sisters also depend on each other if need be.
There are some other reasons why kids fight too, some of which may be:
They may have different needs, and sometimes their in-built anxieties, and identities affect how they relate to one another, and if one of the siblings is very protective of their toys and belongings, they may get unnecessarily upset in a way that does not make sense to the other sibling, causing a huge problem between them.
If one of the brothers and sisters that are fighting is a teenager it may simply mean that they are developing a sense of individuality and independence and they might not like being made to spend time with their younger siblings or even just taking care of younger siblings, which may often lead to frequent fights.
Children also have very distinct individual temperaments, which may mean that they have very different types of mood, disposition, and adaptability, and they may sometimes have differences in personality and temperament that simply does not lend itself to getting along with others their age.
Are the brother and sisters that are fighting completely healthy have normal constitutions or does one or both of them have special needs due to illness or learning/emotional issues? Special needs may often require more parental time which may not be received by the young child who feels ignored because they don’t understand the nuances of caring for a child that needs so much attention.
Another thing that makes a huge difference to why and how brothers and sisters fight so much is how they see their parents resolve their own issues.
Children learn things via modeling most of the time, and if they see their parents resolve problems and disagreements in an aggressive or maladaptive way, they may resort to the same ways when they get into conflicts.
Modeling is often a strong reason for why siblings may be violent with each other during fights as well, they see it happening in front of them from their primary role models, that is, their parents, and they start t think that is just how problems are resolved.
How to stop siblings from fighting so much?
It may seem extremely hard to get siblings from fighting so much, but when yelling at them or keeping them apart isn’t working it may be time to break out some of these other steps to get siblings from fighting so much:
- Try to avoid always stepping in to solve problems for them, as this will teach them that you will always be there to intervene and they will not learn the gravity of fighting all the time and never learn to resolve it on their own.
- You may try to get them to listen to each other’s perspectives when they seem to have cooled down and refuse to help if tempers or voices rise again.
- You may try to help guide them towards a compromise, rather than telling them what to do and what not to do.
- You may also try to model problem-solving for them by helping them work out what they’re arguing about, and asking them what each of them wants and what they are fighting about, just ensure that you do it in a calm manner because if you shout, they will just shout more, and since they are younger they have much more energy to expend than you do.
- Often sibling fighting leads the parent to focus more on who started it, but you need to accept and communicate to them as well, that if they are fighting both of them are responsible because it takes two people to start and continue a fight.
- Taking sides in any form whatsoever makes one of the children feel unfairly treated at the very least, so ensure that you don’t play favorites and instead try to listen equally to both or all of the siblings.
- Whenever you can, try to motivate your children to resolve the fight themselves, you may do this by placing an arbitrary goal they need to work towards together, like trying to figure out how to divide the tv time fairly among themselves; this will teach them responsibility and healthy conflict resolution.
- This one may be a bit hard for you to do given how aggressive singlings can get while fighting, but as a parent, try to stay calm, so that they may see that they need to calm down too.
- You may also try to keep track of how fights get resolved, as this may give you a sense of whether one child is dominating the other.
- Keeping track may also allow you to ensure that compromises are being reached and you are not just teaching them to do things the wrong way.
In this brief guide, we looked at the question “How often do brothers fight?”, and also explored other subjects related to siblings like how often do sisters and brothers fight, or what to do when brothers fight.
It can be hard to fight with your siblings and often it can lead to more friction than just a normal sibling spat, in which case one might want to seek help from other family members or even from family therapists. Whatever the problem you are experiencing is, please feel free to reach out to us with questions or comments about it, and let us know if there are any other subjects you would like to have addressed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How often do Brothers Fight?
Is it normal for siblings to fight all the time?
Yes, it is normal for siblings to fight all the time, but it may not be normal for them to not have any normal periods of time between flights, and if they are not able to get along at all outside of the fights, there may be a deeper problem than just sibling fighting.
Teenage siblings may fight more often than younger ones as they have more developed and stronger personality traits as well as hormones controlling a lot of their actions and words, but there may be differences in how they fight, and they may use different and more grown-up language.
How do I get my siblings to stop fighting all the time?
Here are some ways in which you may try to get your siblings to stop fighting all the time
Try to understand their needs.
Set clear rules about wanting peace and quiet and about the things they fight over
Set up routines.
When you see them being good acknowledge it
Try to show them how to get along.
Coach them on how they could get along.
Try to get them to avoid fighting or intervene and separate them when they are fighting
Let them work it out sometimes and stay away from them if they lash out towards you too, let your parents handle it instead.
Do Most siblings fight?
Yes, most siblings do fight often, and though some may become best friends with their siblings, most children will have rough patches where they will just not be able to stop fighting.
It may also be common for siblings to swing back and forth between loving each other and fighting with passion, and this is very normal too, as they are around the same age and they live with each other all the time, it can lead to clashes.