Mom Loves You Best

How adult siblings can resolve lifelong conflicts and reconnect.

Sibling Rivalry on NPR- Similarity -Sharks & Cain and Abel

NPR kicks off holidays with sibling rivalry


NPR featured a excellent story about siblings in the animal world to kick off the holiday season

            Sibling Rivalry starts between babies- even in the womb. As embryonic sharks grow in their mother’s womb, the biggest baby devours the rest of the young to make sure he or she has enough to eat. The first-hatched eaglet slays all new hatchlings by pushing them out of the nest, receiving all the food brought by parents, ensuring his survival.

 The first recorded murder in history, the Bible tells us, was Cain killing his brother Abel. We all know the blood and gore of myths, fables and even new stories chronicling sibling rivalry.

Siblings fall into categories from best friends down to  murderous rivals .Brothers and sisters who fall in the Cain and Abel sibling category are called  seething or irate and  can often trace their contentious relationship to sibling rivalry.

Seething Siblings

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Seething siblings are full of anger. They have a sibling hurt from childhood  they feel deeply. They ignore him or her; don’t have much contact except perhaps on required holiday visits like the ones’ coming up this month. They are not physical with anger, but it sometimes seethes inside. Brothers and sisters who experienced strong sibling rivalry with no violence are in this category.


Irate Siblings

Irate siblings have a problem with a sibling about something that happened when they were younger. It may have involved aggression or violence. Cain and Abel are called to mind. Steinbeck’s East of Eden tells this story. Brothers and sisters who experienced sibling rivalry can fall into this category if violence and aggression come into play.

If you are a sibling that falls into either of these categories, consider forgiveness as a New Years resolution.

To start find out what kind of sibling you are on my Mom Loves You Best You Tube Channel-




Cathy Cress holds an M.S.W. in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. She is the coauthor of Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships.


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