Science of Parenting: Siblings

siblingsAMES, Iowa — Brothers and sisters can seem to be arch enemies one moment and best friends the next, say family life specialists Donna Donald and Lori Hayungs. During July, they’ll talk about sibling relationships in the Science of Parenting blog from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Some sibling relationships can best be described as “can’t live with them, can’t live without them,” Donald said. “Some people who don’t have siblings consider themselves lucky, while others wish they had brothers or sisters. The mixed feelings we have about siblings are reflected in what research tells us.”

The good news is that while siblings fight a lot, they also learn to resolve the conflicts, Hayungs said. “This is a valuable social skill that translates well into relationships in school. Fast forward into the adult world with personal and work relationships, and you can readily see how living with siblings is a rehearsal for later life.”

During July, Donald and Hayungs will talk about the benefits and challenges of siblings, stereotypes and how siblings shape each other’s lives. Learn more from tips on the blog throughout the month and in a four-minute podcast.

Through the Science of Parenting,, ISU Extension and Outreach specialists share and discuss research-based information and resources to help parents rear their children. Parents can join in the conversation and share thoughts and experiences, as well as how they handle parenting responsibilities.