Contact Us

Sibling Bullying Just As Damaging [AUDIO]

It’s not uncommon for siblings to argue, tease and even get physical on occasion, but new research finds bullying and aggressive behavior by a sibling can be just as damaging as bullying by a classmate or peer.

Anti-bullying in the workplace?
Flickr User artworksbytb

In fact, sibling bullying can cause increased depression, anxiety and anger among victims.

“Siblings tease and make fun of each other once in a while. It’s part of growing up, but it crosses the line when it’s very deliberate and sustained by one sibling to another,” said Dr. Steven Tobias, Director of the Center for Child and Family Development in Morristown.

“It can be very complicated because the longer it goes on, if parents don’t do anything about it or are powerless to do anything about it, it makes it worse for the child who’s being bullied. It not only makes them feel like their sibling hates them, but the parents aren’t doing anything to stop it which can cause the child to feel isolated and alone within the family and that is what’s most damaging.”

When a child is bullied at school, they usually come home and get support and empathy from their family.

“When it’s happening within the family, there really is no safe place for the child,” said Dr. Tobias. “Families are supposed to love and support you. The relationships within a family are really the foundation of a child’s emotional well-being.”

“When that foundation is being rocked and there are no secure relationships at home, there is not emotional foundation to help a child deal with the other conflicts and stresses that they’re going to face in the world. The emotional intensity of sibling bullying is much greater. These are people who are supposed to love and care about you and these are the ones who are picking on you the most.”

So, what can a parent do?

“Parents need to listen to their children, address it and act on it,” said Dr. Tobias. “It’s important for a child to know that you’re listening. When there’s a high degree of conflict and it’s repeated, that’s when it needs to be addressed. You can’t tell someone how to feel. If it’s hurtful to the child, then it’s hurtful to the child.”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Jim Gearhart Asks: Do Parents Need to Worry About Sibling Bullying?

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://wobm.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 92.7 WOBM quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on 92.7 WOBM quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!