Siblings without Rivalry (Ch.1): Brothers and Sisters–Past and Present

[This is the second in a series of posts for A Living Family online Book Club on the book Siblings Without Rivalry, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Whether you are reading with us, have read the book already, or can’t get your hands on a copy, please join the discussion!]

Consider the following (and please discuss in the comments):

What is the story behind the birth of child #2 (or #3, 4…)?

Did you want to have a second so the first wasn’t alone? Did you plan how much space there is between children? Was it all a surprise?

Parent feedback shared in the book showed that parents felt a gap between expectations about how things might be with the siblings and the reality the faced daily.

If you have a sibling, what was the nature of your relationship as children? How does it affect you now?

“Our relationshps with our siblings can have a powerful impact upon our early lives, producing intense feelings, positive or negative; that these same feelings can persist into our adult relationships with our brothers and sisters; and finally, that these feelings can even be passed on to the next generation.”

How do you feel or what thoughts enter you mind when you see your children playing well together? What about when they have a rough moment?

“Instead of worrying about the boys becoming friends, I explained, I began to think about how to equip them with the attitudes and skills they’d need for all their caring relationships. There was so much for them to know. I didn’t want them hung up all their lives on who was right and who was wrong. I wanted them to be able to move past that kind of thinking and learn how to really listen to each other, how to respect hte differences between them, how to find the way sto resolve those differences. Even if their personalities were such that they never could be friends, at least they would have the power to make a friend and be a friend.”


  • Use this week to observe. “What stirs things up?” “What incidents or conversations distress you?”
  • Please take some time to take notes or jot down your thoughts about the above questions. When you are ready (and willing), please share some of your thoughts here so that we may learn from each other, grow together and move forward, collectively, as mothers and fathers and caregivers.


NEXT UP: Not Till the Bad Feelings Come Out…


3 responses to this post.

  1. […] Club « Choosing a Midwife: Questions to Ask a (Homebirth) Midwife Siblings without Rivalry (Ch.1): Brothers and Sisters–Past and Present […]


  2. […] Chapter 1 Share this:EmailPrintShare on TumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]


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