Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sibling to Sibling Aggression is a Sign of Bigger Problems-A3

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Adult Bullying usually starts in early childhood and can continue throughout life without behavioral adjustments. You can see the earliest signs in adolescents with rude or aggressive behavior toward younger or weaker siblings. A unique mix of genetic background and environmental factors interplay to create a problem that may never have manifested. A single traumatic event can start the dysfunctional thinking pattern. In other words, a temporary frustration becomes a life long dysfunctional pattern. The end result is aggressive sibling behavior into adulthood that breaks apart families and causes unnecessary conflicts. The hitting and kicking may end but the ostracizing and name calling continue in its more sociably acceptable form.

Professor Dirks from the McGill University's Department of Psychology found that hitting, calling names and leaving siblings out of games is a form of aggression in children and when it occurs regularly is a sign of more serious emotional and behavior problems (Medical Press, 2019). The emotional problems of the child become the root of their aggression towards others throughout much of their lives.

It doesn't always change when we get older. Adult bullies are following many of the same emotionally learned behaviors from childhood. Limits on that behavior are small and only on what they can get in trouble for. Their environment, parents and predispositions worked together to create a destructive personality. It is hard for bullies to tap into their deep seated fears and emotions to conquer their tendencies. Often they have no prior parental models to rely on.

Behaviors Are Apparent to Others Outside the Dysfunctional Family

Let us go back to our previous example of Cindy. Cindy showed signs of inappropriate aggression as a child. Strangers, on more than one occasion, confronted the parents and encouraged them to teach their child not to attack others through comments, pushing, and general mean behavior. The parents were not happy to have a "noisy outsider" come in and tell them what to do. Those from outside the family unit had a more appropriate reference.

One could also leave for a long period of time, change, and grow and come back and now recognize the behaviors that once seemed appropriate as dysfunctional. They left the group and how they perceived their world to formulate a new understand of acceptable boundaries. Getting away made all the difference in the end allowed for more understanding but further conflict as boundaries are enforced.

Parents Modeled Such Behavior

Sometimes parents modeled such behavior through their own lack of emotional awareness and their constant arguing and fighting. As the stress level rises for both siblings, who are in their formative years, they take on new personality traits. They begin to model the parents behavior. The older one gets more aggressive and the younger one gets more shy. They create a new trajectory of development based on the paths the parents set. They are not fully themselves until later in life.

The formative years are important for developing personality. Poor parental behaviors leads to a cycle of poor behavior as adults. Abused children sometimes abuse others. They may abuse their siblings or abuse their own children. They learned to hate because of their own personal pain. Frustration puts them over the top. To overcome this one must delve deep into the causes and go through a period of growth.

Psychological Scars Last a Long Time

The psychological scars of bullying last a life time. If a child is raised in this environment he/she will struggle to see the world in a way that "normally" raised children will see it. The psychological scars can cause social difficulties, anxiety, depression, internalization symptoms, suicide and eating disorders (Sansone & Sansone, 2008). Many times the victims don't even know that they have an issue.

Because these are so deeply rooted they are not easy to fix. A few of the exceptionally strong are capable of overcoming the pain and draw strength from it. Others simply just get buried in their pain and destroy their own lives. Those that overcome have few to no matches of personal strength because it is they who had to view a new world. Most normally raised children never had to struggle to that level. There is truth to strength through pain.

You can support different types of organizations if you liked this article. Perhaps you can donate a few dollars to their cause. While I try and highlight an organization with each article.  National Abuse Coalition

Helping Orphanages  through Coranzon De Vida: This organization supports 10 orphanages with small children. I have visited a few of these orphanages and seen these kids.  They provide for medical care, food, and much more. This is organization should have corporate support but even as little as $5 helps.

Medical Press, (2019). Sibling rivalry: When the fighting crosses the line. Retrieved

Sansone, R. A. and Sansoon, L. A. (2008). Bully victims: psychological and somatic aftermaths. Psychiatry, 5 (6).

If you want to Read the First Article which leads back to the other articles please follow the link Why You Should Encourage Bullies to Get Help? Life Long Disruption

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