Have kids; expect them to fight. ALL THE TIME.
But a new study has shed much needed light on the dramatic effects of sibling bullying.
If your kids are constantly fighting with each other, then you might want to read this. And pull out the Get Along Shirt ASAP.
Born to fight
My eight-year-old son is a kind, loyal, loving little boy. Except to his sister. To his five-year-old sister, he’s an asshole. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.
While I’ve always kind of assumed that siblings aren’t really meant to get along, a new study from the University of Warwick has uncovered that sibling bullying can actually lead to serious issues down the road.
According to a study of almost 3,600 children, people who were bullied by siblings during childhood are up to three times more likely to develop psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia in early adulthood.
So, if your eldest child is an asshole to his sister, like mine is, then this is a pretty good reason to step in.
Fighting siblings turn into crazy adults, science says
According to the study, which is the first study of its kind, both the victim and the bully are at risk of developing a psychotic disorder.
Senior author Professor Dieter Wolke from the University of Warwick’s Department of Psychology, says, “Bullying by siblings has been until recently widely ignored as a trauma that may lead to serious mental health problems such as psychotic disorders.
“Children spend substantial time with their siblings in the confinement of their family home and if bullied and excluded, this can lead to social defeat and self-blame and serious mental health disorder — as shown here for the first time.”
Stop bullying, at home and at school
The author does admit that several other social conditions can lead to psychotic disorders. Mental health, social environment and other relationships all play a role. They also mention the link between psychotic disorders and bullying in school, which is becoming worse and worse thanks to social media.
So, the next time your kids get out the boxing gloves, you may want to think twice about letting them sort it out themselves.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to pop to the shops, buy a heap of chocolate, and use it to bribe my kids into becoming best friends for life. Before it’s too late.
Looking for more interesting facts confirmed by studies? Check out how to be a hot mum, according to science.