Stop The Squabbling
How to deal with sibling rivalry By Dr. Kim Logan- Nowlin & Arthur E. Nowlin, LMSW, CAACD
A story is told about two brothers who had a loving relationship. They shared a lot of time together, played sports and enjoyed riding bikes with their friends. As they grew older, they started spending more time with their class- mates and other friends instead of sharing time together.
Eventually the older brother began his career as a bank manager and the younger brother worked as a me-
chanic and later started his own business. They did not see each other often because of their careers. When their parents past away and left property to the boys, the older brother took control of the property and
the younger broth- e r
became angry. The brothers stopped speaking to each other and neither did their children associate together. After a while the older brother became se- riously ill and decided to try and reconcile with his younger brother. The phone calls were not answered and the letters were not read.
After many attempts, nothing could encourage his brother to talk with
him. One last request was made for the younger brother to reconcile. He pondered over the thought and he decided to go and see his brother. As
he arrived at the home he noticed several cars parked in the drive way. And upon his entry into the home he was informed that his brother had passed away earlier that day.
The younger brother was given a metal box with a key.
As he opened the box he saw the deed to their family home with his name on it. He also noticed other papers that were stocks and investment totaling over five million dollars. The younger brother was speechless and all he wanted to do was tell his brother that he was sorry and ask for his forgive- ness, but he missed his opportunity to be a brother due to his resentment.
Kim and I receive many requests for help to im- prove sibling disagreements that have existed for years. Just like the two brothers, reconciliation becomes difficult to accomplish because many of us will hold grudges against our relatives without the willingness to eliminate the concerns.
The Henley Center in the UK
explains, “The decline of the family as an institution forms one of the primary symptoms of the paradox
of prosperity. Significant factors contributing to family breakdown inability of family to communicate differences and support each other
through difficulties. The support system does not mean monetary only, but emotional support is also important. Sibling rivalry can destroy the cohesiveness of relationships in the family.”
6 LivingWELL • August 2011 LivingWELL • February 2012
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